The big story yesterday was that Dallas lost veteran defensive tackle Jason Hatcher to a hated division opponent. Now, he'll get to chase Tony Romo and DeMarco Murray twice a season.
D-Mac gives us the straight poop, as per usual.
And here's a couple of accounts from the Redskins' perspective. The first comes from our SB Nation sister site, Hogs Heaven.
Short piece, but the comments are fun. My favorite is this one:
He's 31...on a team [the 'Skins] that won't compete for anything in 2 years
It makes sense for a team that is trying to compete and win now...but what value does a 31-year old have on a team that will probably not win more than 8 games (in one season) for the next 2 years?
Smart fan, that.
Machota builds his article around this interesting tidbit:
So where did the Cowboys stand in negations with the player that recorded a team-high 11 sacks in 2013?
"They didn’t show no signs that they wanted me back," said Hatcher, a 2013 Pro Bowl selection. "I know the fans are upset. They should be. They have all the right in the world to be. But I made the right decision for me. If we could’ve made it work out we would’ve...
So, were the reports that Marinelli and Co. loved Hatch and wanted him back merely smokescreen? Maybe, given his age and inconsistent production. To wit:
As Keim (who is a terrific writer and analyst, if you can stomach the fact that we writes about the 'Skins) notes, Hatcher is coming off his best season with 11 sacks, but only a combined 8.5 sacks in 2011 and '12, when he was a 5-technique defensive end in Rob Ryan's 3-4. Guess what scheme the Redskins run? I'll turn to the always-perceptive Todd Archer for this one:
Jason Hatcher was a huge fan of move to 4-3 and excelled with 11 sacks in '13. Just signed with a 3-4 team.— Todd Archer (@toddarcher) March 13, 2014
4 years, $27.5 million. For a 32-year old interior lineman. Free agency makes otherwise rational beings make some silly decisions...
The straight sauce from our fearless leader
That's the guy we added on Thursday. With 24 hours to find and review some tape, what have we learned about the Cowboys Wednesday acquisitions? Here are a few scouting reports to
get you salivating keep you from jumping out a window:
McClain offers some flexibility. He played nose tackle in Wade Phillips’ 3-4 scheme and slid over to defensive end a times. He is probably more suited for the one-technique with the Cowboys but might be able to help as a three-technique in small doses....The Cowboys signed McClain to be a rotation player and that’s what he looks like.
[Mincey] played all four spots on the defensive line but mostly played left defensive end. He moved into defensive tackle in passing situations and was able to generate a decent push up the middle. One thing I noticed: He was not on the ground a lot....Mincey's versatility could allow George Selvie to spend more time on the right side...
The Mothership's in-house scout offers some further thoughts on the latter of these two acquisitions.
The Broad one concludes by noting that Mincey:
...plays all over the place and my feeling is he will do the same in Dallas. I can see him as a left defensive end, strong against the run with some pass rush traits and kicking inside as that three-technique in the nickel and working from there. He appears to be that wave type of player that they are looking for on their front.
These reports have a familiar ring to them. I think they are going for the "Jim Jeffcoat effect." Those greybeards among you may remember Jeffcoat circa 1992-93. He came off the bench for about 20-25 plays a game, and always made plays. As I see it, they'd rather have eight guys play 30 plays with their hair on fire than four "stars" play 60+ plays, while tiring in the fourth quarter of yet another close game.
Henry Melton, who the Cowboys are supposedly very interested in, has a judicial issue to deal with and there's tape of the incident. Melton got into an altercation in a bar last December (that much we knew), but now we can see part of the fight and he is now being sued for $1 million.
And in other news...
I commented recently that rest of the league is more interested in the Cowboys recent cuts and discards than they have been in recent years. With players like DeMarcus Ware and Jason Hatcher this should be obvious; how often do guys of that caliber get away? The more salient example is Costa, the short-armed source of so much of Cowboy fandom's ire, who inked a 2-year, $3.5 million deal to play for the Colts.
The Sturminator's sublime series on 2014 draft prospects continues, with the spotlight shining squarely on this year's crop of offensive tackles. With Doug Free sitting at 30 years of age and a Cowboys front office that seems hell bent to rid the team of all 30-year-old players, it makes sense that a new tackle will be on our collective horizon. Here's Sturm's summation of the top candidates:
So, in summary, I think [Jake] Matthews, [Greg] Robinson, and [Taylor] Lewan are tier 1. [Zack] Martin is really good, but a level down. I don't think I am interested in [Cyrus] Kouandijo, [Antonio "Tiny"] Richardson, or [Jake] Mewhort at the asking price. And, guys who I do like at #47 or #78 are [Morgan] Moses and [North Dakota State's Billy] Turner. There are other tackles, but most of them were not appealing unless we are into Round 3 or 4 and would be treated as developmental projects.
Fair enough. And the cherry on the sundae is:
This is a pretty cool thing to close with: a video compilation of almost every one of DeMarcus Ware's 117 career sacks with the Cowboys.