The Norman Transcript

National Sports

September 17, 2013

DT Jason Hatcher insists Cowboys will be contender

IRVING, Texas — The Dallas Cowboys followed a big win over the New York Giants in the opener with a worrisome loss on the road — just like last year.

Tony Romo had a big turnover, the defense didn’t get a takeaway and couldn’t make a critical stop in the final minutes — just like last year.

Defensive tackle Jason Hatcher is certain this isn’t just like 2012.

“I’m not worried about last year’s woes or whatever: 1-1 and then you go downhill,” Hatcher said after Sunday’s 17-16 loss at Kansas City. “That will not happen. We’re going to be a contender when this is all said and done.”

Hatcher did his part to make sure this showing was better than last year’s loss in Seattle, getting six tackles, a sack, another tackle for loss and a batted pass. But Hatcher was also in the middle of a defense that couldn’t stop the Chiefs in time to give Romo one more realistic shot at a winning drive.

Jamaal Charles had 8 yards on eight carries when Kansas City took over with 3:50 remaining. He needed just two tries to surpass that — and get the first of three first downs that left the Cowboys just 16 seconds from their 4-yard line. Charles had 47 yards on the final Kansas City possession.

A week after getting six takeaways against the Giants, the Cowboys didn’t have any. They were plus-5 in turnover margin in the opener, and minus-2 this time.

“We’ve got to outplay their defense,” Hatcher said. “They got two turnovers, we’ve got to get four. Up front we made some clutch plays, but when it counted we didn’t show up.”

There were several troubling developments for Romo’s offense heading into Sunday’s home matchup with St. Louis. Dallas struggled getting touchdowns from inside the 20 — another issue a year ago. Romo’s accuracy, and even his velocity, appeared off at critical moments a week after the Giants roughed up his ribs.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
National Sports
  • Tiger in the hunt after day one at Bridgestone

    AKRON, Ohio — Tiger Woods showed signs of a positive recovery Thursday at the Bridgestone Invitational. Not just from back surgery, but from making bogeys....

    August 1, 2014

  • Cardinals Red Sox Trade Cardinals land Lackey, shore up rotation

    BOSTON — The Boston Red Sox traded right-hander John Lackey to the St. Louis Cardinals for right-hander Joe Kelly and outfielder Allen Craig before Thursday’s deadline....

    August 1, 2014 1 Photo

  • Defensive indefernce in Big-D as injury suffles front seven

    OXNARD, Calif. — Rookie pass rusher DeMarcus Lawrence’s broken foot didn’t send the Dallas Cowboys scrambling because they’re already in rebuilding mode with their defensive line....

    August 1, 2014

  • Rams’ go with youth in secondary

    ST. LOUIS — The St. Louis Rams secondary doesn’t have veteran leaders, high-dollar talent or big names. Those handling spots on the last line of defense are confident they won’t be a liability....

    August 1, 2014

  • Tigers go all in on Price

    DETROIT — When David Price was finally traded, it was to an unexpected bidder. The Detroit Tigers added another Cy Young Award winner to their star-studded rotation, acquiring Price from Tampa Bay in a blockbuster deal Thursday....

    August 1, 2014

  • Oakland lands Lester, Gomes in exchange for Cespedes

    OAKLAND, Calif. — The Oakland Athletics won the Jon Lester sweepstakes, acquiring the left-hander and outfielder Jonny Gomes from the Boston Red Sox for slugging outfielder Yoenis Cespedes before Thursday’s trade deadline....

    August 1, 2014

  • Indians trade Justin Masterson to Cardinals

    CLEVELAND — The Indians had little choice but to give up Justin Masterson. The trade doesn’t mean they’re going to surrender the season....

    July 31, 2014

  • Cowboys sign tackle Smith to 8-year extension

    OXNARD, Calif. — Tyron Smith has a new contract that will probably make him the most important blocker for the next Dallas quarterback after Tony Romo....

    July 31, 2014

  • Quarterback questions abound with big stars gone from SEC offenses

    MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Quarterback battles and signal-caller questions abound in the Southeastern Conference going into preseason camps around the league. Big names, not so much....

    July 31, 2014

  • Jones says Brent out of rehab, NFL question next

    OXNARD, Calif. — Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones says former defensive tackle Josh Brent is out of rehabilitation and could have his future with the NFL resolved before the team leaves training camp in California in two weeks....

    July 31, 2014