Once upon a time Rod Marinelli’s Dallas Cowboys defense featured Jason Hatcher creating havoc in the middle of the line. Those were some fun times.
Hatcher joined the Cowboys as a third-round pick back in 2006, the same year that Tony Romo took over as the team’s starting quarterback. That year holds a special place in many fans’ minds as the franchise took a new direction with the new signal-caller.
Ultimately, Hatcher played eight years for the Cowboys, which included the transition into the Jason Garrett era, before heading to Washington in free agency before the 2014 season. He’s been out of the NFL for three years and on Tuesday appeared on 105.3 The Fan, with some interesting thoughts regarding his former coach and quarterback.
When the subject of Dak Prescott came up, Hatcher made things spicy. He started off by being somewhat critical of Dak (Jason also said that Dak should get the franchise tag over DeMarcus Lawrence for some perspective here...), but then he really bounced back and defended him.
Jason Hatcher said he’d run through a wall for Dak but definitely wouldn’t for Tony Romo
After hypothesizing that Dak might not be the same quarterback without Ezekiel Elliott (an argument that many make) Hatcher turned Team Prescott rather quickly, well he turned anti-Tony Romo.
Jason: Romo just didn’t have, he didn’t have the ‘it’ factor to make people around him better. When I was there he was bigger than the team. It was like Romo and then the team, like nobody in the locker room is really going to respect you like that. So I really don’t respect him as a player based on what he did to the team that a lot of people didn’t see. He was a great player he got all the numbers, but I’ll take Dak over Romo any day because Dak has the ability to make people around him better. You will run through a wall for Dak, but Romo, hell no.
If you haven’t listened to the interview you should know that this was a pretty unprovoked answer from Hatcher. He went into that territory all on his own and took it to the place of disrespect without a question steering him there. He said Romo thought he was Brett Favre and Hatcher openly wondered “what have you done?” about the quarterback when calling out his leadership.
Hatcher mentioned that he “jumped on his butt” after the Kansas City game (this happened back in 2013) and kept on expressing criticism for how Romo handled himself in the locker room. He even went as far as suggesting that the reason that the Cowboys defense played so well in 2018 was because they believed in their leader, Dak Prescott.
Hatcher isn’t the first former Cowboys defender to imply that players believe in Dak more than they did Romo. Darren Woodson had similar comments a few months ago although they weren’t as critical of the now-CBS analyst.
Hatcher also accused Jason Garrett of sabotaging Wade Phillips
Beyond stirring the pot that is Dak and Romo, Hatcher also went over a decade back in time and accused the current Cowboys head coach of sabotaging the one that preceded him. That’s right, he believes, like many conspiracy theorists, that Jason Garrett had it out for Wade Phillips.
Jason: I saw Jason Garrett sabotage this man.
Question: You believe that?
Jason: Absolutely! We ran three freaking plays, we went 13-3. They called it ‘Camp Cupcake.’ I don’t care what the media say, we was flying around. We was out of pads in Week 7. We was beating people’s head in. Now we go and do what Wade don’t want to do, we get in pads, we beat each other down. We’re tired and we’re not fresh. And then you go and call three and four plays until this man gets fired.
It’s unclear exactly what season that Hatcher is referring to, but if it was the one in which Wade Phillips was fired (2010) the Cowboys were hardly beating people’s heads in at the point of Week 7.
The pads point is somewhat interesting as the Week 7 game of 2010, Dallas entered it 1-4 by the way, was the home Monday Night Football game against the New York Giants. It was this game in which Tony Romo was injured, who Hatcher apparently didn’t believe in anyway, and the season absolutely fell apart.
Jason Hatcher had a whole lot to say and a lot of it was clouded with some funny details, things like not knowing that Dak Prescott couldn’t be franchise tagged this year for example. It’s possible that what he said has some truth to it, he was there and part of it after all, but it should be met with a cautious eye and stroke of the chin.