2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Cowboys' Hatcher: Consistency plea is for everyone

    2013-09-23 15:31

(Eds: Updates, should stand.)
By SCHUYLER DIXON
AP Sports Writer

IRVING, Texas (AP) - Jason Hatcher says he wasn't calling out Tony Romo when he pleaded last week for consistency from his Dallas teammates.

After a 31-7 victory over St. Louis on Sunday, the Cowboys shot down a report that the defensive tackle and emerging team leader had singled out his quarterback to stress the importance of avoiding another up-and-down season.

Now the biggest margin of victory in nearly two years coming off a one-point loss in Kansas City gives the Cowboys a reason to heed Hatcher's words as they prepare to visit San Diego.

Hatcher was in charge of the pre-game speech on the field against the Rams, and he said a few more words after a dominating performance. He says all the words - all week - were meant for everyone.

``Romo knows what's at stake,'' Hatcher said. ``He's a football player. Why would I get on the leader of the team?''

The Cowboys (2-1) haven't won three of their first four since 2008. They were 8-8 in each of coach Jason Garrett's first two full seasons. Both years, they were 8-6 and lost the last two games to miss the playoffs.

There was another reason for Hatcher to speak up during the week. Last year, the Cowboys opened with a big win over the New York Giants only to play one of their worst games of the season in Seattle. This year, Dallas beat the Giants again in the opener, only to see many of the same losing symptoms return against the Chiefs.

``The main thing from Hatcher's speech is being consistent,'' said DeMarcus Ware, who had two sacks of the Rams' Sam Bradford to become the franchise leader with 115. ``Not being up and down. Win a game, then lose a game. That's what we did last week. With the win we have right now, how consistent can we be now week in and week out?''

Hatcher, Ware and the other Dallas defenders are doing more than talking. The Cowboys held the Rams to 18 total yards in the first half while running back DeMarco Murray had 96 by himself. They had six sacks of Bradford and hit him eight other times.

Dallas has given up 199 yards rushing, and 47 of them came in the only letdown the defense has so far - a clock-killing drive that helped the Chiefs seal a 17-16 win.

``I thought Hatcher's words after practice were directed at our entire football team,'' Garrett said. ``I think it was a real good sign of leadership by him. It starts with Hatch, it's not about words with Hatch. It's about how he plays and how he goes about it every single day. I think that's what people respond to most.''

Turnovers were the talk of the first game when the Cowboys forced six against the Giants. It's been more about pressure on the quarterback lately. Dallas has nine sacks the past two weeks as it prepares to face Phillip Rivers on the road.

The first sack against the Rams came at the end of two three-and-out sequences from the Dallas defense to start the game. The Cowboys had to do it twice because Dwayne Harris muffed the game's first punt.

``The defense had to earn it with three-and-outs,'' owner Jerry Jones said. ``Those weren't necessarily happening with turnovers. I can't recall when I've seen us play better ever.''

Now the Cowboys have to do it again on the road against an AFC West team. They're 0-for-1 so far this year.

``It feels good to bounce back like this,'' said tight end Jason Witten, who led Dallas with five catches for 67 yards. ``I think we will enjoy this win, but the message going forward is that we had a big hiccup against a good team in Kansas City but you've got to start finding ways to win games and stack them up, not just go back and forth with win, loss, win, loss.''

That was Hatcher's message - for Romo and everyone else.

---

Online:

AP NFL website: www.pro32.ap.org

---

Follow Schuyler Dixon on Twitter at https://twitter.com/apschuyler

Fantasy Football Player Notes RSS FeedPLAYER NOTES

Luke WillsonOct 24 10:44p

Seattle Seahawks TE Luke Willson (groin) will play in the team's Week 8 game, according to head coach Pete Carroll.

Crockett GillmoreOct 24 10:32p

Baltimore Ravens rookie TE Crockett Gillmore will receive the start at tight end in Week 8 against the Cincinnati Bengals, and the Ravens appear to have plenty of confidence [ More ]

Golden TateOct 24 10:12p

Detroit Lions WR Golden Tate will be facing the league's 29th ranked pass defense in Week 8 against the Atlanta Falcons.

Steve JohnsonOct 24 10:08p

San Francisco 49ers WR Stevie Johnson has played only 20 percent of the snaps in the last month, but he's been the team's most effective receiver in that time. [ More ]

Reggie BushOct 24 10:02p

Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush (ankle) is expected to be inactive for the Week 9 game against the Atlanta Falcons in London, according to a source Friday, Oct. 24.

Calvin JohnsonOct 24 10:02p

Detroit Lions WR Calvin Johnson (ankle) is unlikely to play in Week 8 against the Atlanta Falcons in London, according to a source. The team has a bye in [ More ]

Ryan MathewsOct 24 09:52p

San Diego Chargers RB Ryan Mathews (knee) missed his sixth consecutive game in Week 8 Thursday, Oct. 23, against the Denver Broncos, but he could return to practice as [ More ]

Donald BrownOct 24 09:52p

San Diego Chargers RB Donald Brown (concussion) missed his third straight game in Week 8 Thursday, Oct. 23, against the Denver Broncos, but he might be able to return to practice Monday, Oct. 27.

Alan BallOct 24 07:02p

The Jacksonville Jaguars are extremely thin at cornerback heading into the team's Week 8 game, with CBs Alan Ball (biceps) out, and Dwayne Gratz (hip flexor) questionable. There is [ More ]

Kevin WilliamsOct 24 06:32p

Seattle Seahawks FB Derrick Coleman (foot), DT Jordan Hill (ankle), CB Byron Maxwell (calf), TE Zach Miller (ankle), C Max Unger (foot), LB Bobby Wagner (toe) and WR Bryan [ More ]

Khalif BarnesOct 24 06:32p

Oakland Raiders OT Khalif Barnes (quadriceps) is expected to start at right tackle in Week 8, but head coach Tony Sparano would not say if Barnes or OT Menelik [ More ]

LaMarr WoodleyOct 24 06:22p

Oakland Raiders DE LaMarr Woodley (biceps) and FS Usama Young (knee) are expected to be placed on the Reserve/Injured list.

Dion SimsOct 24 06:02p

Miami Dolphins SS Jimmy Wilson (hamstring) is listed as doubtful for Week 8. LB Koa Misi (ankle) is listed as questionable, while OT Branden Albert (elbow), LS John Denney [ More ]

Billy WinnOct 24 05:52p

Cleveland Browns WR Rodney Smith (hamstring) and DT Phil Taylor (knee) have been ruled out for Week 8. DE Billy Winn (quadriceps) and SS Jim Leonhard (ankle) are listed [ More ]

Justin TuckOct 24 05:42p

Oakland Raiders TE David Ausberry (foot), WR Vincent Brown (hamstring), CB Keith McGill (groin), DE LaMarr Woodley (biceps) and FS Usama Young (knee) did not participate in practice Friday, [ More ]

Derrick ColemanOct 24 05:32p

Updating a previous report, Seattle Seahawks RB Derrick Coleman (foot) had surgery to repair a foot injury this week. He is expected to miss at least six weeks.

Brandon BrownerOct 24 05:32p

New England Patriots DE Chandler Jones (hip) did not participate in practice Friday, Oct. 24, and has been ruled out for Week 8. OG Dan Connolly (concussion), DE Dominique [ More ]

Johnathan JosephOct 24 05:32p

Houston Texans CB Darryl Morris (ankle) and LB Jeff Tarpinian (knee) have been ruled out for Week 8 against the Tennessee Titans. LBs Jadeveon Clowney (knee), Brian Cushing (knee), [ More ]

Frostee RuckerOct 24 05:22p

Arizona Cardinals TE Troy Niklas (ankle) has been ruled out for Week 8 against the Philadelphia Eagles. DE Calais Campbell (knee) is questionable, while S Rashad Johnson (knee) and [ More ]

Morgan BurnettOct 24 05:12p

Green Bay Packers DE Datone Jones (ankle) has been ruled out for Week 8 against the New Orleans Saints. S Morgan Burnett (calf) is questionable, while CB Sam Shields [ More ]

James StarksOct 24 05:12p

Green Bay Packers RB James Starks (ankle) was limited in practice for the second straight day Friday, Oct. 24, but is probable for Week 8 against the New Orleans [ More ]

Lance BriggsOct 24 05:02p

Chicago Bears LB Jonathan Bostic (back) and LB Lance Briggs (ribs) were limited in practice Friday, Oct. 24, and are doubtful for Week 8. S Danny McCray (knee) did [ More ]

Ryan ClarkOct 24 05:02p

Washington Redskins CB Tracy Porter (hamstring) and FS Ryan Clark (ankle, shoulder) were limited during practice Friday, Oct. 24. DE Chris Baker (thigh), OT Tyler Polumbus (knee), LB Perry [ More ]

Jack CrawfordOct 24 04:52p

Dallas Cowboys OT Doug Free (foot) and DE Jack Crawford (calf) did not participate in practice Friday, Oct. 24. Anthony Spencer (knee) was limited during practice, while LB Bruce [ More ]

Ronnie HillmanOct 24 04:52p

Denver Broncos RB Ronnie Hillman continues to run with confidence in the absence of RB Montee Ball (groin), and Ball will likely find it hard to win his starting [ More ]

Jonathan GoodwinOct 24 04:32p

New Orleans Saints C Jonathan Goodwin (ankle, knee) and LB Kyle Knox (ankle) did not participate in practice Friday, Oct. 24, and have been ruled out. DT Brodrick Bunkley [ More ]

Nick MangoldOct 24 04:32p

New York Jets LB Trevor Reilly (knee) and WR Greg Salas (wrist, ankle) both were limited in practice Friday, Oct. 24, and are questionable for Week 8. OT Oday [ More ]

Cyrus GrayOct 24 04:32p

Kansas City Chiefs CB Christopher Owens (knee) has been ruled out for Week 8 against the St. Louis Rams. WR Junior Hemingway (hamstring) and S Eric Berry (ankle) are [ More ]

Khiry RobinsonOct 24 04:22p

New Orleans Saints RB Khiry Robinson (forearm) did not participate in practice Friday, Oct. 24, and has been ruled out for Week 8.

Jo-Lonn DunbarOct 24 04:22p

St. Louis Rams C Tim Barnes (shoulder) and CB Brandon McGee (foot) are both out for Week 8 against the Kansas City Chiefs. CBs Janoris Jenkins (knee) and Trumaine [ More ]

R. Griffin IIIOct 24 04:12p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III (ankle) said he won't rush back to play until his ankle is fully healed. 'It's our job to help this team win, and [ More ]

Pierre ThomasOct 24 04:12p

New Orleans Saints RB Pierre Thomas (rib, shoulder) did not participate in practice Friday, Oct. 24, and has been ruled out for Week 8.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2014 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group