Hatcher's Future Remains Uncertain
DallasCowboys.com Staff Writer
Name: Jason Hatcher
Position: Defensive End
Height/Weight: 6-6 / 311
Experience: 5 seasons
Key Stat: The significant number for Hatcher that will likely hurt him going into free agency is just the one start last season. And it just so happened that Marcus Spears, who has played in front of him his entire career, actually got hurt in the eighth game and finished on IR. However, Hatcher was already hurt himself and ended up playing 12 games, but with only one start. In fact, that start against Houston, which occurred because the Cowboys opened the game in a nickel package, is Hatcher's only credited start of his career.
Contract Status: Signed through 2010 / expected to be unrestricted free agent.
2010 Impact: Once again, Hatcher found himself as a role player. And that was somewhat disappointing considering he was in a contract year, and Spears got hurt which would've opened the door him. Instead, Hatcher had already suffered a strained groin injury against the Giants and missed four games. Overall, Hatcher had 17 tackles - good for 17th on the defense - with one sack and two quarterback pressures.
Where He Fits: It'll be interesting to see how the dominoes fall at defensive end this offseason, or whenever free agency begins. And it's not likely that the first domino will include Hatcher. Once the Cowboys figure out the situation with Stephen Bowen, possibly Marcus Spears and maybe even a veteran free agent, then they will likely get around to Hatcher. It doesn't mean he won't be back, but after playing five seasons with no starts, that's not exactly the production they're looking for from a former third-round pick. Then again, Rob Ryan has a new scheme and might have a place for Hatcher that would fit better in this defense.
There's no right way to do the wrong thing.
To compete for the playoffs, Dallas has to improve here: Only four sacks against Eli Manning over the past six games!