Jason Hatcher was recently cut by Washington. With a need in the interior part of their defensive line, could the Cowboys possibly sign Hatcher in hopes of beefing up the middle?
When you take a look at the Dallas Cowboys and their needs to address this offseason, one glaring spot comes at the 1-technique defensive tackle position next to Tyrone Crawford. The 1-technique is known for taking on double teams and stuffing the run. The bad part about the 1-technique is that the player comes off the field on third down. Regardless of who the Cowboys want to target, one thing that's for certain is that the Cowboys will need to improve the overall depth of the defensive line.
Over the past couple of seasons, the Cowboys have done an excellent job at finding talent at a low price. Jeremy Mincey is the prime example of this. After he was released by the Denver Broncos, Mincey came over to the Cowboys and had success as a rotational piece in Rod Marinelli's pass rushing unit. Fast forward a few years and the Cowboys could benefit tremendously by getting similar production from Hatcher.
Entering the 2016 NFL season, Hatcher will be 34 years old. However, he still has some gas left in the tank, as is the case by his production in spurts just last year. If you can recall, the Cowboys decided not to overspend and retain him just a couple of offseasons ago when he was 32. After the Cowboys' Week 13 win over the Redskins, Hatcher had this to say about the way he left with the Cowboys:
"Me and Jerry [Jones] sat down and we talked like men and he told me what his plans were and I respected that. I'm not like some players, they're mad at the organization. I left on a good note. But it still feels good to beat their butt."
After being released by the Redskins, Hatcher put out an Instagram post, outlining how much he appreciated his time with the Redskins and thanking the team as well. However, even though he's 34 and nearing the end of his career, Hatcher also posted this to close out the Instagram post.
"Whelp I can't stay on here all day I got to get my ass to work and find another damn job"
Because Hatcher is nearing the end of his career and the most productive years of his life came with the Cowboys, it wouldn't come as a surprise if Hatcher does indeed end up on the Cowboys in the coming weeks. Free agency will start up in just a few days and a potential suitor could be the Cowboys.
A lot has been made about the defensive tackle class in this year's draft. Perhaps the most depth class in years, the Cowboys could get a legitimate first-round talent when their second-round pick rolls around at pick 34. But because the Cowboys have other glaring needs, such as the cornerback and defensive end positions, perhaps signing an interior lineman and bypassing the position until later in the draft would make more sense.
Hatcher's best years are obviously behind him, but in a year where the Cowboys really, really need to emphasize "winning" the offseason, getting guys that could with a low-risk, high-reward probability are needed. And while his body may be wearing down, Hatcher fits that bill. He's familiar with the coaching staff and while he'd be coming back to Dallas to play in the 4-3, he played a 3-4 in Washington, Hatcher's role as the 1-technique or even a rotational defensive lineman piece may be too valuable for the Cowboys to pass up on.