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August 12, 2013

Marinelli, Garrett impressed by Hatcher pressure from defensive tackle spot against Raiders

Defensive tackle Jason Hatcher has shown he can rush the passer. He has 8.5 sacks over the past two seasons.

But that was from defensive end.

The Cowboys this year are asking Hatcher to rush from defensive tackle. Judging from one small sample last week against Oakland, Hatcher is going to be able to do it. He knocked the ball loose from quarterback Matt Flynn to produce an early turnover for the first-team defense.

“Very athletic guy. Very good feet, good movement, loose in the hips, all those things,” defensive line coach Rod Marinelli said. “Good solid rush there, too. Hit that edge. Did what he was supposed to do.”

Hatcher smiled about it.

“Yeah, I knocked it out. Just a great play,” he said. “We played well together for the first four plays that we played. But I’m looking forward to seeing how it’s going to look when we play 30 or 40 plays.”

Hatcher’s work has impressed coach Jason Garrett, also. He said Hatcher has embraced the new defensive system.

“It’s great to see, because he’s played a few years in this league,” coach Jason Garrett said of the eight-year veteran. “To see a guy who has his experience continue to get better because of the work that he puts in in the offseason, on the practice field, he just grows before your eyes.”

-- Carlos Mendez

Twitter @calexmendez

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