BTB interview with Cowboys beat writer Todd Archer

 

With training camp closing in I decided I needed some answers about the upcoming season. So who better to talk to about the Dallas Cowboys than Dallas Morning News beat writer Todd Archer. I told Todd I wanted answers, he wanted to know if I was entitled to answers, I shot back that I wanted the truth! He fired back that I couldn’t handle the truth! So I asked if BTB could handle the truth and he said sure.

I sent over the questions below for Todd and he graciously replied.

BTB:

Is there a real battle at cornerback for the starting spot opposite Terence Newman? If there is, will Adam Jones or Anthony Henry be that starter after camp? And at what point could Jones take over, other than injury, if not after camp?

Todd Archer:

My belief is on Sept. 7 Henry will be the starter. Now, does Jones take the job at some point during the season. I can see that happening. I think eveyrbody needs to remember this guy didn't play football for a year. He was OK in the off-season, but I don't remember him as a lock-down corner in his two years in Tennessee. I don't think the Cowboys shied away from him when they played. He's good. He has a chance to be really good but I think there has to be some rust knocked off, no? And I think Henry is pretty good too. I know some people were worried from some of what they saw during the off-season, but he is not the best of practice players. Never has been.

BTB: Bottom line: Will Terry Glenn be on the Cowboys active gameday roster when they open up with Cleveland?

TA: If Terry Glenn wants to have the chance to make $1.7 million this year, then he has to sign the split salary agreement. There's not another team, including Miami IMO, that will give him that. If he signs it, then he's here for the opener.

BTB: Pretend you're the GM of a team that has to sign a #2 WR for the next 3-4 years. You only have three options – Sam Hurd, Miles Austin or Isaiah Stanback. Who do you sign?

TA: If I'm a GM, then the team is in trouble. We'd be in cap-jail every year. I've been pretty consistent with this answer - I think Austin has the chance to be the best of the three. If we're talking potential, he's better than Hurd and Stanback. He's got speed and he was much more consistent this off-season. The Cowboys hope that can carry over when things start going for real. Hurd is solid. You can win with him but I don't know if he's more than what he already is. Stanback? I just haven't seen enough to be convinced he's an in-the-rotation guy. Maybe that changes when we get to California.

BTB: Which player, who's been on the fringe over the last few years e.g. Bobby Carpenter or Pat Watkins, will have a breakout year solidifying his future?

TA: This is hard because there's not really an opportunity for a fringe player to breakout. It could be one of those receivers. I know the coaches liked what Carpenter did in the off-season but they were saying the same thing last year. He still has to win them over. Watkins helped himself too in Hamlin's absence. His range makes him a guy to look at back there. Another possibility - Jason Hatcher. He had a chance last year to play more than he did and sort of tailed off as the season went on.

BTB: Three part question:
If the Cowboys don't win the Super Bowl, will Jerry Jones force Wade Phillips out in favor of Jason Garrett?

If the Cowboys do win the SB, will Wade Phillips retire or will he come back for more after waiting so long for post-season glory?

If the Cowboys win the SB and Wade wants to keep coaching, would Jerry keep him or does he really want/need Jason Garrett as head coach after this season?

TA: I'm copping out, I guess. I can see all of those scenarios happening, although I've never heard Wade talk about retirement. I think he has too much fun coaching. He doesn't have health issues. That would be a surprise if he walked away. Jerry's forced out (so to speak) a Super Bowl coach before, so you can't rule it out. I think we all kow Jerry wants Garrett to be the next head coach. In a way, whatever Wade does this year might not be good enough.

BTB: After the big three at cornerback, you have Mike Jenkins who is basically a lock given his draft position and Orlando Scandrick who will most likely be given at least this year to show something. After that, who among Alan Ball, Evan Oglesby, Quincy Butler, and Tyler Everett makes the 53-man roster?

TA: I kind of got ripped on the blog for saying only five corners make the roster after Scandrick agreed to his deal. If they keep six, I'd go in this order - Ball, Oglesby, Butler. (I think Everett is playing safety only). Ball and Oglesby can play. If there's a battle for No. 6, it's between them right now. Maybe I'm guilty of seeing Butler too long and not sure what he does. Ball has good speed, athleticism and ball skills. Oglesby is a sturdy-type corner. He can be physical.

BTB: Do you read blogs and message boards about the Cowboys regularly? Has their entrance into the information game changed anything about your job or the way the DMN covers the Cowboys?

TA: I read them. Some, like BTB and the Zone, I like a lot. I don't think it's really changed the way I do my job but it helps knowing what fans are thinking about the team. Sometimes, however, you have the remember that most of the people on the boards are full-blown fans who eat up everything that is written, so you can't just skip over a story they think is over-done because a lot of people are unaware of it still.

BTB: If you and Calvin Watkins squared-off against JJT and Tim Cowlishaw in the octagon for a no-holds-barred, no-referee, "No Punks Allowed" Texas Death Match; which team comes out alive?

TA: Have you sesn Jacques? He's soft. And Cowlishaw is so old. I'm kidding. But of course I would take the Watkins/Archer team. Calvin covered boxing for us, grew up in NYC, so he's got to have some clue. And with no rules, I'd be a force.

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