An open letter response to Jason Hatcher (and other underachieving *&^%$# players on the Dallas Cowboys)

Dear Mr. Jason Hatcher,

It has come to my attention that you believe that the Cowboys lack team leaders capable of unifying the team. During a radio interview on the Ben and Skin Show on 103.3 FM ESPN Dallas (, you noted that the Dallas Cowboys lack a leader that inspires every player to consistently attain their highest level of performance: from play to play, game to game, and season to season.

While it is understandable that a player like Ray Lewis does not have a locker at Valley Ranch, because leaders of that ilk are rare and truly unique, I cannot help but wonder why you would voice your opinion in such a manner on a local radio station that is broadcast nationally via ESPN. The firestorm of controversy and criticism that you have certainly ignited when no other significant NFL story is taking place is nothing short of irresponsible.

Through your words today, did you hope to unify a locker room that you reported does not have a singular focus behind an individual team leader? If not, then how could you see this as anything but contributing to the problem you outlined?

If so, I find your method simplistic and poorly conceived. It does, however, bring to light that if you truly felt that the Dallas Cowboys needed a singular voice to unite the individual players wearing the once vaunted star on their helmet, that you have not assumed responsibility to fill that hole yourself. In essence, by highlighting the problem, you have exposed yourself as nothing but a follower believing that he needs a leader to reach the apex of his potential.

Instead of passing the accountability of leadership upon another player, would it not have been far more fruitful to assume the mantle of leadership and direct the players with which you currently share the field towards the unifying goal of a Super Bowl Championship? If you felt that the burden of leadership was too much for you to bear, as an alternative to whining about a lack of a unifying voice, could you not have at least assisted another stronger leader on the team to establish such a voice?

No. Instead of taking accountability for the shortfalls of the team, and by extension yourself, Jason, you chose to pass out blame. Your interview began by throwing the cornerbacks under the bus. You then gave the safeties co-responsibility with the cornerbacks for the demise of the 2011 regular season.

Strong leaders do not publicly dole out blame, but rather fight to offer solutions and achieve positive results. Obviously, Mr. Hatcher, you lack the ability to be a true leader, further illuminating the true problem with this edition of the Dallas Cowboys: players such as yourself that consider themselves separate from the problem.

In this case, if you are not part of the solution, you are most definitely part of the problem. As you may have correctly interpreted, I am no longer just singling you out as the smoldering ember responsible for the ignominious flame-outs of seasons past. Unfortunately, you are not alone in contributing to this epidemic of failure and lack of responsibility.

Having experienced athletic success at an elite level of competition, it is difficult for me to comprehend the need you express for a teammate to bring out your best. Seeing players like DeMarcus Ware, Jay Ratliff, Sean Lee, Tony Romo, and Jason Witten consistently achieve the pinnacle of athletic performance, however, leads me to believe that not all players on this edition of the Dallas Cowboys require a cohort to push them towards excellence.

It was shameful to see players such as yourself put in subpar performances to end 2008, to begin 2010, and to close out this latest season and blame a lack of leadership for their professional deficits. Your (plural) lack of effort cost several coaches their positions on the team, led to the criticism of your teammates, and cost you (singular) millions of dollars.

A recognized leader noted that there was a sense of entitlement on this team. He was only partially correct: there is a serious lack of personal responsibility also. Unfortunately, players such as he will probably not have another chance to win a championship here in Dallas.

I am sure that in your mind, his plight is not your fault, Mr. Hatcher, but rather the outcome to be expected when leadership is unable to properly induce athletic excellence from lesser talented players. But regardless of what you may believe, underachieving, making excuses, passing blame, refusing responsibility and most of all, losing is your lasting legacy.

Congratulations on fulfilling your potential and legacy.

Another user-created commentary provided by a BTB reader.