For his first game at defensive tackle, Jason Hatcher felt pretty good.
Literally pretty good.
“My body actually feels better than playing that 3-4,” he said Monday at Valley Ranch. “Feels a lot better. Not a whole lot of wear and tear on your body versus the 3-4. You take a pounding. I feel great.”
Hatcher is probably right to feel great about his game, also. He had three tackles, three pressures and a sack against the Giants as the Cowboys unveiled the new 4-3 defense brought in by defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin and defensive line coach Rod Marinelli.
The 31-year-old Hatcher said the defense’s straight-ahead style helps his body avoid a beating.
“You’re making guys miss, you’re just getting upfield,” he said. “You’re not just taking a blow every down. So I feel great.”
Hatcher was praised by coach Jason Garrett.
“Hatch did a really nice job in the game,” Garrett said. “We were rotating some defensive linemen through there, so some of the young guys who haven’t played very much gave Hatch and D-Ware a chance to catch their breath. But every time they were out there, they were going and they were pushing the pocket, and I think Eli Manning felt that presence a number of different times with some of the balls he threw in the game. Hatch was a guy who showed up really throughout the game.”
-- Carlos Mendez