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August 27, 2012

As good as defense has looked, Hatcher says you can't judge it until Cowboys game-plan an opponent

Through the first three games, there is not much more the Cowboys could ask of their frontline defense.

Two field goals allowed.

Seven sacks.

Five turnovers forced, including four interceptions, two by the star free agent signee, cornerback Brandon Carr.

But defensive end Jason Hatcher, who played in his first preseason game Saturday night against the Rams and notched a sack, said it’s hard to predict what it means for the regular season.

“It’s preseason,” he said. “We don’t do a lot of scheming. But it definitely makes you feel good to know that you’re playing this well this early. We can’t predict how well we’re going to do, how well we’re going to do as a defense right now, until we put a scheme together.”

Owner Jerry Jones said he is seeing fewer mistakes, game plan or no game plan.

“I am impressed that the mistakes have been minimized,” he said. “I know that the schemes that we’re playing and what we’re trying to do defensively, it looks like, I was really interested in what that would be tonight. We hadn’t had that many in the first two games, and we didn’t have many tonight on defense.”

The Cowboys got four sacks against the Rams. They came from two linebackers (Sean Lee and Adrian Hamilton), a cornerback (Mario Butler) and a defensive end (Hatcher).

Hatcher credited both defensive coordinator Rob Ryan’s aggressiveness with blitzes and the coverage of the secondary.

“He’s definitely dialing it up,” Hatcher said of Ryan. “Every week, he’s putting some new stuff in. That’s just Rob. You look at him, he’s crazy. That’s the way he designs his defense.”

Hatcher said he clearly sees a difference in time to get to the quarterback, thanks to the additions of Carr and No. 1 pick Morris Claiborne at the corners.

“BCarr’s a monster. He’s a monster back there,” Hatcher said. “Claiborne is doing a great job. We get Jenks back healthy, he’s going to help us out a lot. So, we’re very excited about those guys on the back end. Very excited about the whole defense and where it’s going.”

-- Carlos Mendez

Twitter @calexmendez

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