2014 DRAFT GUIDE
Cowboys' Hatcher leading with words - and actions

    2013-09-26 17:04

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

IRVING, Texas (AP) - Jason Hatcher doesn't think of himself as a vocal leader for the Dallas Cowboys, just a guy who speaks his mind.

Except when he hears that Jerry Jones wants to keep the defensive tackle past this final year of his contract and someone suggests the Cowboys owner should back up those words with some cash.

``I'm not saying nothing,'' Hatcher said, playfully biting his tongue.

The eighth-year pro is letting his play do most of the talking, and certainly giving Jones something to think about when it didn't seem even a few months ago that a long-term deal in Dallas would be an option.

Hatcher was a steady substitute his first five years with the Cowboys before getting his break when Rob Ryan came in as defensive coordinator two years ago. The 31-year-old has now started 25 straight games, and he's more than just a consistent presence on a line that has lost Anthony Spencer for the season with a knee injury, and might not get anything significant out of Jay Ratliff for the second straight year.

Hatcher's making a lot of plays in the revamped four-man front under new defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin and line coach Rod Marinelli. He's just one sack behind star pass rusher and new franchise sack leader DeMarcus Ware this season.

``More than anything else, you're just seeing him play with a relentless spirit both defending the run and running to the football at the end of the down but also getting to the quarterback,'' coach Jason Garrett said. ``He's playing really, really good football.''

Hatcher wanted out of Dallas three years ago. He simply couldn't get on the field much, and didn't think he ever would. Ryan saw something in him about the same time he signed a three-year deal, and he was a full-time starter by the end of Ryan's first season in 2011.

``He kind of got my career started off, rebirthed again,'' Hatcher said. ``So yeah, I definitely give a lot of credit to Rob.''

But he might give more to Marinelli in a new scheme that looks like a better fit for a taller interior lineman. The 6-foot-6 Hatcher is only a sack and a half from his career high three games into the season, and he holds court with reporters to discuss the post-sack dances that might be next.

In one of the dances he does right now, Hatcher raises his arms and rubs his thumbs and fingers together, almost a ``show me the money'' move. He's not saying what it means, but he does acknowledge that he's talked to his family about the idea that the only player remaining from Dallas' 2006 draft might not be back.

``But at the end of the day, I'm not worried about that,'' Hatcher said. ``I'm just going to go out there and play my butt off for the rest of this season and whatever happens happens.''

Garrett rejected the idea that Hatcher has become a vocal leader, maybe because he had just finished dismissing as ``inaccurate'' a report that Hatcher had called out quarterback Tony Romo in a speech to teammates about avoiding an up-and-nature tendency that has led to 8-8 records in Garrett's first two full seasons.

Hatcher's speech - nobody denied that he gave one - came after Dallas followed a season-opening victory against the NFC East rival Giants with a road loss for the second year in a row.

``He didn't speak for long,'' Garrett said. ``He spoke to the whole group. I thought he spoke well. He backs it up in practice and he backs it up in the games.''

As for Hatcher's technical explanation for why he's backing it up in games, he says he's getting more one-on-one looks from offensive linemen with more defenders around him up front. The Cowboys ran plenty of stunts when they sacked Sam Bradford six times in last week's 31-7 win over St. Louis, and Hatcher is benefiting from those as well.

Hatcher had some of the best sound bites from training camp, talking up teammates new and old as injuries to Spencer and Ratliff lingered and key backup Tyrone Crawford was lost for the season to a torn Achilles tendon.

After last week's speech to his teammates, Hatcher was on the big video board at the Cowboys' stadium, delivering the motivational message in the center of a group of players before Sunday's game against the Rams.

Maybe he doesn't call himself a vocal leader - and maybe his coach doesn't either - but it looks like it's working out that way.

``When it's time for me to say something I say it,'' Hatcher said. ``I don't know. If that makes me a vocal leader, so be it.''

Just don't ask him to talk about the owner.

---

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

Chris CantyFeb 27 11:32a

Baltimore Ravens DE Chris Canty was released Friday, Feb. 27. The move saved the team around $2.7 million on the salary cap.

Brian HartlineFeb 27 10:32a

Miami Dolphins WR Brian Hartline was released Friday, Feb. 27.

Harry DouglasFeb 27 10:32a

Atlanta Falcons WR Harry Douglas was released Friday, Feb. 27.

Matt HasselbeckFeb 26 07:42p

Indianapolis Colts impending free-agent QB Matt Hasselbeck was re-signed to a one-year deal Thursday, Feb. 26. Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Steven JacksonFeb 26 07:32p

Atlanta Falcons RB Steven Jackson will reportedly be released Friday, Feb. 27.

Adrian PetersonFeb 26 05:52p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson's suspension was overturned by U.S. District Judge David S. Doty Thursday, Feb. 26. However, the NFL also announced that they will appeal the ruling, [ More ]

Travis KelceFeb 26 05:42p

Kansas City Chiefs TE Travis Kelce, who led the team with 67 catches and 862 receiving yards in 2014, is expected to be a more prominent part of the [ More ]

Kendall LangfordFeb 26 04:12p

St. Louis Rams DT Kendall Langford was released Thursday, Feb. 26, saving the team $6 million in salary cap space.

Greg HardyFeb 26 02:32p

Carolina Panthers impending free-agent DE Greg Hardy will seek immediate reinstatement after a judge overturned Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson's suspension, according to a source.

Theo RiddickFeb 26 02:22p

Detroit Lions RB Theo Riddick likely will be given the chance to earn a bigger role in the offense next season after the team released RB Reggie Bush.

Adrian PetersonFeb 26 12:32p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson's suspension has been overturned after a judge granted a motion from the NFL Players Association to vacate the suspension.

Michael RoosFeb 26 12:02p

Free-agent OT Michael Roos (Titans) has announced his retirement from professional football.

Dez BryantFeb 26 09:03a

Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant is likely to receive the franchise tag because the team is hesitant to sign him long term due to a lack of trust off [ More ]

Peyton ManningFeb 25 09:23p

The Denver Broncos and representatives for QB Peyton Manning are working on revising the veteran's contract, according to multiple league sources. He is scheduled to draw a $19 million [ More ]

Reggie BushFeb 25 05:33p

Detroit Lions RB Reggie Bush has been cut Wednesday, Feb. 25.

A.J. HawkFeb 25 04:43p

Green Bay Packers LB A.J. Hawk was released Wednesday, Feb. 25. The move will save them $3.5 million against the salary cap in 2015.

Jacoby JonesFeb 25 12:33p

Baltimore Ravens WR Jacoby Jones was released Wednesday, Feb. 25.

Peyton HillisFeb 25 10:43a

New York Giants RB Peyton Hillis was released Wednesday, Feb. 25. The move saves $945,000 on the 2015 salary cap.

Dez BryantFeb 24 10:33p

Dallas Cowboys WR Dez Bryant's NFL career could be in jeopardy if a video he allegedly appears is as bad as it sounds. A source said the 'incriminating video [ More ]

Jake LongFeb 24 09:23p

The St. Louis Rams are likely to release OT Jake Long this offseason for savings against the salary cap, according to beat writer Nick Wagoner.

Mathias KiwanukaFeb 24 03:33p

New York Giants DE Mathias Kiwanuka has been released Tuesday, Feb. 24.

DeAngelo WilliamsFeb 24 12:23p

Free-agent RB DeAngelo Williams (Panthers) said he was not upset when the Carolina Panthers told him last week that he'd be released. Williams told Charlotte's WBTV that DE Greg [ More ]

Adrian PetersonFeb 23 06:13p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson's father denied a report that Peterson no longer wants to play for Minnesota. Peterson's father said Peterson is still open to a return to [ More ]

Ted Ginn Jr.Feb 23 04:53p

Arizona Cardinals WR Ted Ginn Jr. was released Monday, Feb. 23.

Adrian PetersonFeb 23 02:52p

Minnesota Vikings RB Adrian Peterson's situation with the team worsened during the NFL scouting combine as his agent and members of Minnesota's front office had a heated verbal altercation, [ More ]

Victor CruzFeb 21 10:22a

New York Giants WR Victor Cruz (knee) looks good as he continues to recover from a torn right pateller tendon in his knee, according to general manager Jerry Reese. [ More ]

R. Griffin IIIFeb 20 02:52p

Washington Redskins QB Robert Griffin III will enter the 2015 season as the team's starting quarterback, and general manager Bruce Allen thinks Griffin's ceiling in the NFL remains high. [ More ]

Devonta FreemanFeb 20 08:42a

Atlanta Falcons RB Devonta Freeman fits well in offensive coordinator Kyle Shanahan's scheme, according to head coach Dan Quinn. 'My first impression: I can feel the quickness,' Quinn said [ More ]

Victor CruzFeb 19 07:12p

New York Giants WR Victor Cruz (knee) may commence running shortly, according to head coach Tom Coughlin. Cruz is recovering from a torn right patellar tendon in his right knee.

Andre EllingtonFeb 19 05:12p

Arizona Cardinals RB Andre Ellington (foot) remains the focal point of the offense, according to Cardinals head coach Bruce Arians. Ellington split the injured tendon in his left foot, [ More ]

C.J. AndersonFeb 19 02:22p

Denver Broncos RB C.J. Anderson finished the year as the team's No. 1 running back and made the Pro Bowl, but new head coach Gary Kubiak said Anderson must [ More ]

James CaseyFeb 19 02:22p

Philadelphia Eagles TE James Casey has been released.

RSS Feeds

NFL News:
 
Player Notes:
 
Forum Posts:
 

© 2015 RealTime Fantasy Sports, Inc.
Email Us  ·  Call Us 636.447.1170  ·  Lost Password
Advertising represented by USA Today Sports Media Group