Last week, Cowboys beat writer Todd Archer of the Dallas Morning News, answered questions for fans in a live chat. The following responses by Archer proved to be very insightful and worth a look.
Possible coaching candidates:
Gruden would come here in a second. Cowher? I doubt it. Cowher would want more control. Gruden would be open to less of a say, but I said it earlier in here: whoever the head coach is here has more power than any of us think. If he wants a player or doesn’t want a player, almost 95 percent Jerry will side with the coach. … But I wouldn’t be in the Gruden camp. He was only average after taking over Tony Dungy’s team and winning that Super Bowl the first year.
Why Chris Gronkowski was inactive against Jacksonville:
He was inactive because of his failure to pick up Michael Boley on a blitz that led to Tony Romo suffering a fractured collarbone. He was not hurt. He was a healthy scratch. The Cowboys used their tight ends Scott Chandler and Jason Witten as fullback. To me it sorta speaks to what’s wrong with this team: they can punish guys like Gronkowski, an undrafted free agent, but they do not punish their more veteran players.
Who the Cowboys will target with a top 10 draft pick:
I wouldn’t put much stock in these scouting gurus at this time of year. Just compare lists they have now to the ones they have in April. Things change. There will be an O-lineman or five to take in the early rounds. I’d say safety has to be at the top of the list, too.
Why the Cowboys’ defense has stalled and become easy for opponents to read:
It’s the same scheme as they ran last year when they finished second in points allowed in the NFL. It’s not an overly complicated scheme, but there are a lot of teams that run simple stuff and execute it. That’s the problem: there’s no execution and now Phillips doesn’t know what he’s going to get from the players and I’m sure players are lacking trust in what’s called. It’s natural when things go like this.
Is Felix Jones a top running back in the NFL:
He doesn’t have much room to do much of anything, however, I just don’t see the instincts to make him special. He’s a one cut guy. He doesn’t have the wiggle necessary to make somebody miss. Maybe he lost some of that by adding some weight but he just doesn’t look like the same guy.
Regarding Gronkowski being inactive, I thought it was a cheap shot by Wade Phillips and an indication that he is playing favorites with his roster.
When Mark Colombo does an intentional back-flip in the end zone Phillips defended him and said he simply tripped, but when Gronkowski unintentionally makes the mistake of leaving the quarterback unprotected to tackle an oncoming guard, he gets punished and singled out.
Gronkowski gets put on the inactive list despite being the only fullback on the team. Phillips decided it was better to punish Gronkowski even at the expense of weakening the team.
It’s things like this that make me wonder how Wade Phillips has lasted this long as coach of the Cowboys.
If the division in the the locker room is as bad as is now being reported, don’t blame Terrell Owens this time, blame the coach, Wade Phillips.