2015 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

Richard RodgersJul 1 05:03p

Green Bay Packers TE Richard Rodgers could see more playing time in 2015, according to Rob Demovsky of ESPN.com. Rodgers played 528 snaps, while fellow TE Andrew Quarless played [ More ]

Rob HouslerJun 30 03:13p

Cleveland Browns TEs Gary Barnidge, Rob Housler and Jim Dray could all end up taking over for TE Jordan Cameron, who is now with the Miami Dolphins. Head coach [ More ]

Sam BradfordJun 29 05:22p

Philadelphia Eagles QB Sam Bradford (knee) is expected to be in the final phase of his rehabilitation from a torn anterior cruciate ligament once training camp begins. Bradford's second [ More ]

Charles JohnsonJun 29 02:02p

Minnesota Vikings WR Charles X. Johnson appears to have everything it takes to produce in the NFL, according to offensive coordinator Norv Turner. 'He's got great work ethic, and [ More ]

C.J. SpillerJun 28 09:02p

New Orleans Saints RB C.J. Spiller has a perfect skill-set for head coach Sean Payton's system, which relies on getting the ball to players in space, according Chris Wesseling [ More ]

Tony MoeakiJun 25 07:12p

Atlanta Falcons TE Tony Moeaki will compete with TE Jacob Tamme for the Falcons' starting tight end job during training camp. QB Matt Ryan praised both tight ends for [ More ]

Kelvin BenjaminJun 25 03:52p

Carolina Panthers WR Kelvin Benjamin's reported weight gain this offseason is being overblown, according to general manager Dave Gettleman. Gettleman expects Benjamin to be ready to go for training [ More ]

Antoine CasonJun 25 03:03a

Free-agent CB Antoine Cason (foot) will miss the 2015 season due to surgery he underwent on Tuesday, June 23. Cason (Ravens) did not specify what type of surgery he [ More ]

Marvin JonesJun 24 09:13p

Cincinnati Bengals WR Marvin Jones (ankle, foot) did not play in 2014 due to multiple foot and ankle issues, but he is healthy and was impressive in organized team activities (OTAs) and minicamp.

Keith WenningJun 24 02:43p

Free-agent QB Keith Wenning (Ravens) signed with the Cincinnati Bengals Wednesday, June 24. Terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Pierre GarconJun 24 02:23p

Washington Redskins WR Pierre Garcon could be featured more often in the passing game this season based on the offseason workouts. Garcon often lined up to the right of [ More ]

Martavis BryantJun 24 01:43p

Pittsburgh Steelers WRs Markus Wheaton and Martavis Bryant are expected to compete for the No. 2 wide receiver job during training camp. Both players performed well during offseason workouts.

Peyton ManningJun 24 11:53a

Denver Broncos QB Peyton Manning was the subject of preliminary trade discussions with the Houston Texans, according to a source. The talks occurred before Manning restructured his deal and [ More ]

Rueben RandleJun 24 10:53a

New York Giants WR Rueben Randle was the best receiver on the field by a wide margin during spring practices, in the opinion of beat writer Jordan Ranaan. Randle [ More ]

Chris IvoryJun 24 10:43a

New York Jets RB Chris Ivory is listed as the starting running back entering training camp, according to beat writer Rich Cimini's unofficial depth chart. RB Bilal Powell is [ More ]

Devonta FreemanJun 23 10:22a

Atlanta Falcons RB Devonta Freeman enters training camp ahead of RB Tevin Coleman on the depth chart.

Joseph RandleJun 23 10:02a

Dallas Cowboys RB Joseph Randle appears to be the clear leader at running back, and it's his job to lose in training camp.

Ahmad BradshawJun 22 11:32p

Free-agent RB Ahmad Bradshaw (Colts) has been suspended one game for violation of the league's substance abuse policy. If he signs with a team he must sit out for the first week.

Terrelle PryorJun 22 04:33p

Cincinnati Bengals WR Terrelle Pryor was claimed off waivers by the Cleveland Browns Monday, June 22, according to a source.

Fred DavisJun 19 06:02p

New England Patriots TE Fred Davis was released Friday, June 19.

Dennis PittaJun 19 02:22p

Baltimore Ravens TE Dennis Pitta (hip) was not medically cleared to practice in minicamp as he continues to recover from his second dislocated and fractured hip in as many [ More ]

Isaiah CrowellJun 19 01:22p

Cleveland Browns RB Isaiah Crowell could be the workhorse back if his ball security improves, according to offensive coordinator John DeFilippo.

Devonta FreemanJun 19 01:12p

Atlanta Falcons RB Devonta Freeman will be used in a lot of different ways, including as a receiver, according to head coach Dan Quinn. 'I knew Devonta had terrific [ More ]

Chris OgbonnayaJun 19 11:32a

Free-agent RB Chris Ogbonnaya (Giants) announced his retirement Friday, June 19.

John MoffittJun 18 11:02p

Free-agent OG John Moffitt unretired Wednesday, June 17, and cleared waivers Thursday, June 18. He is free to sign with a team of his choosing. The Philadelphia Eagles, Miami [ More ]

Terrelle PryorJun 18 09:32p

Free-agent QB Terrelle Pryor is going to give it a shot at playing wide receiver in the NFL. Some teams have already expressed an interest.

Allen RobinsonJun 18 09:22p

Jacksonville Jaguars WR Allen Robinson was described as 'unbelievable' by QB Blake Bortles Thursday, June 18. 'He's definitely a threat now in the red zone. ... He's physical. He [ More ]

Terrelle PryorJun 18 05:32p

Cincinnati Bengals QB Terrelle Pryor was waived Thursday, June 18.

Taylor ThompsonJun 18 05:32p

Tennesse Titans TE Taylor Thompson was waived Thursday, June 18.

Matthew MulliganJun 18 04:32p

Free-agent TE Matthew Mulligan (Titans) signed an undisclosed contract with the Buffalo Bills Thursday, June 18.

Carlton MitchellJun 18 04:22p

Free-agent WR Carlton Mitchell (Buccaneers) signed an undisclosed contract with the Atlanta Falcons Thursday, June 18. WR Shane Wynn was waived.

Daniel ThomasJun 18 04:12p

Free-agent RB Daniel Thomas (Dolphins) signed a one-year contract with the Chicago Bears Thursday, June 18. Financial terms were not disclosed.

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