2013 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

Terrelle PryorApr 23 08:58a

The Seattle Seahawks acquired QB Terrelle Pryor from the Oakland Raiders Monday, April 21, in exchange for a seventh-round draft pick in this year's draft. He will compete with [ More ]

Matt RyanApr 22 10:53p

Atlanta Falcons head coach Mike Smith is calling for major improvement on both sides of the line of scrimmage. He fears the team could bottom out for a second [ More ]

EJ ManuelApr 22 08:13p

Buffalo Bills QB EJ Manuel (knees) is healthy entering voluntary workouts and feels normal and had no limitations during the Tuesday, April 22 conditioning program. Bills head coach Doug [ More ]

Rolando McClainApr 22 07:53p

Updating a previous report, the Baltimore Ravens have officially placed LB Rolando McClain on the reserve-retired list for a second time. The Ravens will retain McClain's rights if he changes his mind again.

Eli ManningApr 22 07:33p

New York Giants QB Eli Manning (ankle) expects to be 100 percent for the beginning of training camp. Manning has no concerns about learning the Giants' new playbook, instead [ More ]

Ray RiceApr 22 04:43p

Baltimore Ravens RB Ray Rice looks great physically, according to strength and conditioning coach Bob Roguck. 'He's doing some things differently as far as his diet and so forth, [ More ]

David WilsonApr 22 02:43p

New York Giants RB David Wilson (neck) said he is still waiting for a clear MRI to be medically cleared, but is currently ahead of schedule.

Julio JonesApr 22 01:13p

Atlanta Falcons WR Julio Jones (foot) will be limited during the team's offseason workouts while he recovers from offseason foot surgery. 'Julio is participating with our athletic performance department,' [ More ]

Eli ManningApr 22 01:03p

New York Giants QB Eli Manning (ankle) said his ankle is progressing but he does not have a timetable for his return to the field. Manning is currently in a walking boot.

Stevie BrownApr 22 12:33p

New York Giants FS Stevie Brown (knee) said he feels like he is ready to go when the Giants hit the field after recovering from a serious knee injury. [ More ]

Will HillApr 22 10:33a

The New York Giants are likely to cut FS Will Hill after his third potential drug suspension.

Josh MorganApr 22 09:52a

Chicago Bears WR Joshua Morgan is likely to compete for the No. 3 or 4 wide receiver role this year, and he'll compete with WRs Domenik Hixon, Eric Weems [ More ]

Will HillApr 22 09:33a

New York Giants FS Will Hill is facing a year-long suspension after reportedly failing another drug test. He will appeal what would be his third drug-related suspension.

Kyle WilliamsApr 21 09:33p

The Kansas City Chiefs re-signed WR Kyle Williams Monday, April 21. Terms of the deal were undisclosed.

Colt AndersonApr 21 07:12p

The Indianapolis Colts signed free-agent FS Colt Anderson (Eagles) to an undisclosed deal Monday, April 21.

Jamar TaylorApr 21 06:43p

Miami Dolphins CB Jamar Taylor (groin) is healthy following hernia surgery and began offseason workouts with his teammates Monday, April 21. Dolphins head coach Joe Philbin said he expects [ More ]

Dustin KellerApr 21 05:42p

Eugene Parker, agent for free-agent TE Dustin Keller (knee), said Keller is ready to participate in offseason workouts when he signs with a team.

Eric FisherApr 21 05:12p

Kansas City Chiefs OT Eric Fisher (shoulder, hernia) said there is no timetable for his return following multiple surgeries, but he doesn't think he'll be out for long. 'He's [ More ]

Josh MorganApr 21 04:02p

The Chicago Bears have signed free-agent WR Joshua Morgan (Redskins) to a one-year deal. Financial terms were not disclosed.

A.J. GreenApr 21 03:32p

Cincinnati Bengals WR A.J. Green said he has added around six pounds this offseason, because he wants to be more physical as a way to beat coverage at the [ More ]

Michael VickApr 21 02:42p

New York Jets QB Geno Smith said he believes he will be the starting quarterback this upcoming season even though the team added QB Michael Vick this offseason. He [ More ]

Navorro BowmanApr 21 02:12p

The San Francisco 49ers plan to place LB NaVorro Bowman (knee) on the Physically Unable to Perform list when training camp begins, because he is not expected to be [ More ]

Eric FisherApr 21 02:02p

Kansas City Chiefs OT Eric Fisher (shoulder, hernia) underwent shoulder surgery and had a procedure to fix a sports hernia. He's currently rehabbing in Kansas City.

Tony CarterApr 21 01:22p

The Denver Broncos signed DT Mitch Unrein to his restricted free-agent tender Monday, April 21. CB Tony Carter, SS Duke Ihenacho and LB Brandon M. Marshall all signed their exclusive rights tenders.

Rolando McClainApr 21 01:02p

Baltimore Ravens LB Rolando McClain is retiring from the NFL again Monday, April 21. 'I gotta follow my heart. It ain't football. If football made me complete I would [ More ]

Tony RomoApr 21 12:42p

Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo (back) will take part in the team's voluntary offseason program beginning Monday, April 21, according to a source. Players are allowed to lift weights, [ More ]

Marcus LattimoreApr 20 09:12p

San Francisco 49ers RB Marcus Lattimore (knee) is not expected to be restricted in any way when offseason workouts begin.

Michael EgnewApr 20 08:42p

The Miami Dolphins likely will add at least two more tight ends this offseason that will compete with TE Michael Egnew for a roster spot.

Armon BinnsApr 20 12:02a

Miami Dolphins WR Armon Binns is currently the team's No. 4 receiver, but the Dolphins have had discussions about WR Rishard Matthews replacing Binns at the spot, according to a source.

Tyrone CrawfordApr 20 12:02a

Dallas Cowboys DT Tyrone Crawford (Achilles') is expected to be ready for the team's offseason program, and he is expected to be a key piece to the defense this season.

M. Jones-DrewApr 20 12:02a

If healthy, Oakland Raiders RB Darren McFadden is expected to be the team's starting tailback with RB Maurice Jones-Drew as his backup.

Brian HartlineApr 20 12:02a

Miami Dolphins WR Brian Hartline (knee) is expected to be ready for the start of mini camp, according to a source. He suffered a torn posterior cruciate ligament in the 2013 regular season finale.

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