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December 19, 2012

He kids because he cares: Jason Hatcher says he's got to start learning the names of all these new guys

Defensive end Jason Hatcher has become one of the Cowboys’ best players.

Good thing. Because he’s one of the funniest interviews in the locker room, too.

The seven-year pro out of Grambling, sixth in the team in tackles and second in quarterback pressures, had his group of reporters chuckling in a line of questioning about so many of the new players at Valley Ranch – guys like cornerbacks Sterling Moore and Michael Coe and defensive tackle Brian Schaeferings, who have joined the team in the past 10 days, and linebacker Brady Poppinga.

“I learned, I think, Coe’s name today,” Hatcher said. “That’s probably one. Sterling. No. 30. I learned his name today. There’s a few more I’ve got to learn, but they’ve been balling.”

Uh, Hatch. This is Moore’s third week here.

“Really? Shoot, I didn’t know that one,” Hatcher said. “I feel bad. My bad, Sterling.”

But they’ve earned the right for you to know their name now, haven’t they?

“They’ve been earning it,” Hatcher said. “Just watching them on film and the way they play. There’s great guys playing behind us making our job easier up front.”

Do you know Poppinga?

“Brady Poppinga. Man, that guy’s crazy,” Hatcher said. “He made me
remember who he was. He’s a maniac.”

How about the new practice-squad defensive tackle?

Hatcher: “Who is that? We got a new tackle?”

Ikponmwosa Igbinosun. “Ike,” for short.

Hatcher: “I don’t know who the hell that is.”

Of course, Hatcher was having good-natured fun. He’s bought in to all the new players.

“Those guys, man, like I said – I don’t know half of them, but they’re
playing their butt off right now,” he said. “I’m learning their names, but they’re doing a great job coming off the street doing what they do.”

-- Carlos Mendez

Twitter @calexmendez

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Players such as Moore, Albright, Lissemore and even Ernie Sims may need to be signed for next season and beyond, particularly if Dallas reaches the post season phase. These men are playing their tails off and making plays. What these guys have instilled is afighting spirit and a desire to hit and make plays. Moore contributed heavily to taking the very dangerous Heath Miller away from Ben Hamberger in the second stanza last week. He can do the same to Graham this week.

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