DALLAS -- Dallas Cowboys linebacker DeMarcus Ware had a family commitment that kept him from playing co-host to the Taste of the NFL, so defensive end Jason Hatcher was the only current player onstage at the eighth annual event Sunday night.
Hatcher isn't big on speeches, which is why he was waiting until the spotlight was off him to eat. It is the same in the locker room, where Hatcher would rather lead by example.
"I can't give you a big rah-rah speech to tell you to get going, but I can work my butt off every day," Hatcher said. "I'm going to work. You know that Hatch is going to be working; I've got to work. If I can lead in that aspect of it, I will. As far as saying something to the team, I'm not that guy."
Hatcher was speaking publicly for the first time since February, when he questioned the team's leadership during an interview with ESPN/103.3 FM.
He said he has no regrets about the need for someone to step up and be a "Ray Lewis" type leader.
"I say whatever's on my heart," Hatcher said. "Whether you take it or leave it, I don't care if you take it. At the same time, I wasn't dogging anybody. I wasn't dogging the leaders we had. I just felt like guys can do better.
"Guys have stepped up, and I like the way this team is going. We've got camaraderie. Guys are looking out for each other. Guys are working together. That's the direction you've got to go as far as getting to the championship game."
The Taste of the NFL benefits the North Texas Food Bank, and, on Sunday night, the Cowboys raised their 1 millionth dollar through the partnership.
Looking for Jenkins
The Cowboys begin organized team activities Tuesday. The workouts are voluntary, but coach Jason Garrett is "hopeful" cornerback Mike Jenkins will show up.
Garrett said he has no idea whether Jenkins will participate.
Jenkins has been rehabbing from right shoulder surgery at his home in Florida, having avoided the team's off-season workouts at Valley Ranch. The front office has questioned Jenkins' absence, saying he needs to return to work.
Jenkins, who enters the final year of his contract, became trade bait after the Cowboys signed free agent Brandon Carr and drafted LSU's Morris Claiborne. Owner Jerry Jones said recently that Jenkins is a "vital part" of the team's 2012 plans.
Jenkins is not expected to be healthy enough to practice until training camp.
Guard, not center
Now that hip surgery will keep him out until at least training camp, Mackenzy Bernadeau likely will concentrate on right guard. The free agent signee had been a candidate for the starting center job if one of the team's young guards emerged.
"I think we would be less inclined to play him at a couple of different spots initially because he's losing this off-season work," Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. "...He's not going to be a part of this thing, but like with all our injured players, he has to stay close to it -- be engaged in the meetings, be engaged in the practices and get as much information as he can."
Bernadeau, who signed a four-year, $11 million deal in March, is expected to miss 10-12 weeks after having hip surgery last week.