Cowboys’ Hatcher raises his game despite off-season uncertainty

Posted Monday, Dec. 30, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

Have more to add? News tip? Tell us

Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Jason Hatcher certainly had plenty to play for Sunday.

In the week leading up to the win-or-go home matchup with the Philadelphia Eagles, he was passed up on a Pro Bowl selection and was given the weight of defensive leadership by the Cowboys’ defensive coaching staff, he said.

He responded byputting the team on his back, he said, and lifted one of the league’s worst defenses to a level that could have certainly won the game for the Cowboys.

“He made a statement tonight,” defensive line coach Rod Marinelli said.

Hatcher forced Eagles quarterback Nick Foles all around and out of the pocket throughout the night, recording two sacks, four tackles and a forced fumble.

However, Hatcher said after the game, while he believes he was a Pro Bowl-caliber player this season, a snub had no bearing on his standout game.

“It’s just one of those things where politics takes it’s role. I’m not big on Hawaii, man. It would have been nice to take my family but it’s not one of those things I’m crying over. I’ll take my family anyway,” Hatcher said somewhat jovially.

Hatcher said Sunday he was playing for those defensive teammates around him, those that depended on him to be one of the few veteran leaders on a bumped and bruised unit which relied on inexperienced players to be successful.

That defense reached the pinnacle of its success late in the third quarter when cornerback Orlando Scandick threw down Eagles receiver DeSean Jackson on the 1-yard line, saving a touchdown, followed by a defensive stop on fourth-and-1 that kept the Cowboys in the game trailing by one point.

It was moments like that which endeared this team and his teammates to him, Hatcher said.

“I think we did a great job,” Hatcher said. “I wouldn’t trade those 60 minutes for no other team, no other guys. We rose to the occasion, we played our butt off tonight but we came up short.”

However, what Hatcher was really playing for Sunday was a paycheck over this off-season in which he becomes a free agent.

Hatcher said he is certainly open to the idea of staying in Dallas and finishing his career as a Cowboy, but he is also open to moving his family wherever he might land next season.

“I’m numb right now and whatever happens, happens,” he said. “If I have to move my family out of here I’m good with that. It’s up in the air and I really don’t’ care if I go or if I stay. It would be awesome to stay here and finish my career here, but if not I can move on. It’s a business. You know how it goes. You can’t get any emotions involved or else you’ll find yourself in a bad situation.”

After the game, owner and general manager Jerry Jones wouldn’t comment on his feelings about re-signing Hatcher, but gave him the praise he felt he was due for his efforts this season.

“I wish Jason the very best,” he said. “I thought Jason had an outstanding year for us. I thought he played lights out tonight here too.”

Looking for comments?

We welcome your comments on this story, but please be civil. Do not use profanity, hate speech, threats, personal abuse, images, internet links or any device to draw undue attention. Our policy requires those wishing to post here to use their real identity.

Our commenting policy | Facebook commenting FAQ | Why Facebook?

Saturday, April 19Full Scoreboard
Toronto «5Final | Box
St. Louis «4Final | Box
LA Angels2Final | Box
Detroit «5
Baltimore2Final | Box
Boston «4
Minnesota4Final | Box
Kansas City «5
Cincinnati4Final | Box
Chicago Cubs «8
Houston3Final | Box
Oakland «4
Milwaukee4Bottom 4th | Box
Pittsburgh1@theBallpark | TV: FSN-WI, ROOT-PIT
Seattle0Bottom 4th | Box
Miami2@theBallpark | TV: ROOT-NW, FSN-FL
Atlanta2Bottom 4th | Box
NY Mets1@theBallpark | TV: FSN-S, WPIX
NY Yankees0Bottom 4th | Box
Tampa Bay4@theBallpark | TV: YES, Sun Sports
Chicago WSox0Bottom 1st | Box
Texas0@theBallpark | TV: WGN, FSN-SW
Philadelphia0Top 1st | Box
Colorado0@theBallpark | TV: CSN-PHI, ROOT-RM
Arizona0Bottom 1st | Box
Los Angeles0@theBallpark | TV: FS1, SportsNet LA
San Francisco 4/19 8:40 PM ET
San Diego TV: CSN-BA, FSN-SD
Full Scoreboard
Saturday, April 19Full Scoreboard
Brooklyn «94Final | Box
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game One. Brooklyn leads series, 1-0.
Golden State «109Final | Box
LA Clippers105
Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game One. Golden State leads series, 1-0.
Atlanta503rd Qtr | Box
Indiana50TV: ESPN, SportSouth
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game One.
Memphis 4/19 9:30 PM ET
Oklahoma City TV: ESPN, FSN-OK
Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game One.
Full Scoreboard
Full Scoreboard
No games this week
Full Scoreboard
Saturday, April 19Full Scoreboard
Chicago3Final(OT) | Box
St. Louis «4
Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game Two. St. Louis leads series, 2-0.
Columbus12nd Prd 15:40 | Box
Eastern Conference Quarterfinals, Game Two. Pittsburgh leads series, 1-0.
Minnesota 4/19 9:30 PM ET
Colorado TV: NBCSN, TSN, Altitude
Western Conference Quarterfinals, Game Two. Colorado leads series, 1-0.
Full Scoreboard