Dallas Cowboys

March 13, 2014

Defensive tackle Jason Hatcher leaves Dallas for Washington

Jason Hatcher gets a four-year deal from the Redskins, and the Cowboys add New Orleans linebacker Will Herring.

The Dallas Cowboys took another hit in free agency Thursday when defensive tackle Jason Hatcher agreed to terms on a four-year, $27.5 million contract with the Washington Redskins.

Hatcher’s deal comes one day after the Cowboys saw defensive end DeMarcus Ware sign with the Denver Broncos for $30 million over three years.

Just like Ware’s departure, Hatcher’s was all about money. The Cowboys have less than $8 million in salary cap space available and are hoping sign a number of players who fit within their salary structure rather than focus on a big-ticket item.

Coming off a career-high 11 sacks and his first trip to the Pro Bowl, Hatcher, 31, looked to maximize his value in free agency with what was possibly his final contract.

He visited Seattle on Tuesday and Oakland on Wednesday before heading to Washington and agreeing to a deal with the rival Redskins. He will be a defensive end in Washington, where he will return to the 3-4 scheme he has played in since arriving in Dallas as a third-round pick in 2006.

The Cowboys, meanwhile, continued the nickel-and-dime game in free agency Thursday, signing former New Orleans Saints linebacker Will Herring to a one-year deal, according to a source.

Herring confirmed his deal with the Cowboys on his personal twitter account.

Herring, 30, is a seven-year veteran who played the past three years in New Orleans primarily as special teams player. He had 13 tackles in a reserve role in 2013.

He is the third player added to the team in free agency and the third former backup performer. Former Houston Texans nose tackle Terrell McClain and former Denver Broncos defensive end Jeremy Mincey were added Wednesday.

Center Phil Costa, cut by the Cowboys for salary-cap reasons, found a new home with the Indianapolis Colts on Thursday. He reportedly signed a two-year contract worth up to $3.5 million.

Hatcher might not be the only Cowboys free agent to find a new home with the Redskins. Defensive end Anthony Spencer was in Washington on Thursday on a free-agent visit.

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