Hatcher’s message apparently received by all Cowboys, whomever it was directed to

Posted Sunday, Sep. 22, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
More information  Standing on top With two sacks Sunday against the St. Louis Rams, DeMarcus Ware passed Harvey Martin and became the Cowboys’ all-time sack leader. The Cowboys monitored sacks before they became an official NFL statistic in 1982. Here are the top sack leaders in Cowboys history: Player…………………..Sacks………Seasons DeMarcus Ware…………115……….2005- Harvey Martin…………..114………..1973-‘83 Randy White…………….111………..1975-‘88 Ed Jones…………………106………..1974-’78, ’80-‘89

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It was tough to get Dallas Cowboys defensive end Jason Hatcher to talk about what he said to the team last week, and whether that included some words aimed specifically at quarterback Tony Romo.

Whatever he said, and to whomever he said it, apparently it had an effect.

The Cowboys put together a complete defensive performance in a 31-7 snuffing of the St. Louis Rams’ offense, capping a week in which Hatcher — sick about the lost opportunity at Kansas City last week — stepped up after a practice and said enough.

“I just want to win, man,” he told reporters after the game. “We’re too good on paper to just let games like Kansas City slip through our fingers, man. So that’s what it was. We came out, and we responded well tonight.”

An NFL Network report said Hatcher criticized Romo at practice after he threw a pick-six. Hatcher did not deny it, but tried to play it off.

“I love Romo to death, man. I wouldn’t get on Romo,” he said. “He came out. He balled out tonight. Did you see that? He balled out. They ran the ball. He threw the ball great. He’s the best quarterback in the league. So I love Romo to death. That’s my brother.”

Linebacker Sean Lee said it was a collective message from Hatcher, not just for Romo.

“He was just talking to our entire team to get us going after a loss, basically saying, ‘Hey, we can’t win one, lose one, win one, lose one, if we want to be great.’ And we talked about being great, and we talked about working hard. But we have to do it week in and week out. He addressed the whole team with his comments.”

Message received or not, the Cowboys dominated the Rams, particularly on defense.

They allowed only 18 yards and one first down in the first half. They got six sacks against a team that had not given up one in the first two games. They forced a fumble. And it took the Rams to go into four-down mode to score in the fourth quarter.

Hatcher got credit for getting the Cowboys’ minds right.

“The main thing I got from Hatcher’s speech was being consistent, not being a roller-coaster team, not being up and down, winning a big game and then losing a game we should have won like last week,” cornerback Brandon Carr said.

“Now, with this win, how consistent can we be in playing week in and week out? That’s one thing Hatch talked about: ‘Let’s be a consistent team. We can be a great team, but the consistent teams are the ones that win.’”

DeMarcus Ware, who got two sacks, said Hatcher was not exclusionary with his words.

“It was for my team and for my teammates,” Hatcher said. “It wasn’t for nobody else’s ears.”

But everybody saw the results with their eyes Sunday.

Carlos Mendez, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @calexmendez

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