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October 31, 2013

Jason Hatcher is a picture of optimism, believing the Cowboys will be in a "good situation in late December"

The Cowboys allowed Detroit’s Calvin Johnson the second-most receiving yards in NFL history. They suffered a gut-wrenching, last-second 31-30 loss to the Lions. They rank 32nd in total defense.

And defensive tackle Jason Hatcher could not be more upbeat about the defense’s and the team’s prospects for the rest of the season.

“I don’t like to look back on last year, if we would’ve lost a game like that, we would’ve packed it in,” Hatcher said Thursday. “We don’t have guys like that on this defense or entire team. That’s what makes me have the faith -- just the guys we have. They want to win for each other. We’re a brotherhood, and we’re going to continue to play to the end. And I think we’ll be in a good situation in late December.”

Hatcher, who 21 months ago questioned whether the Cowboys had leadership, has become a vocal leader. In a contract year, Hatcher is having the best season of his career with 34 tackles, seven sacks and 19 pressures.

The Cowboys honored him this week by placing an action photo of Hatcher, with his index finger raised to the sky, on the wall outside the locker room. It replaces a shot of Jay Ratliff and joins other photos of Sean Lee, DeMarcus Ware, Miles Austin, Tony Romo and Jason Witten.

“That meant a lot to me, to be on that wall,” Hatcher said. “It wasn’t given; I earned that. …To be on that wall is an honor and privilege. It’s an awesome feeling.”

-- Charean Williams

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