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March 13, 2014

Cowboys lose Jason Hatcher to rival Redskins; continue with small moves, sign backup LB Will Herring

The Cowboys took another hit free agency when defensive tackle Jason Hatcher agreed to terms on a four-year, $27.5 million contract with the Redskins.

Hatcher's deal comes one day after the Cowboys saw defensive end DeMarcus Ware sign with the Denver Broncos for $30 million over three years.

Just like Ware, Hatcher's departure came down to money. The Cowboys have less than $8 million in salary cap space available and are hoping sign a number of players who fit within their salary structure rather than focus on a big-ticket item.

Coming off a career-high 11 sacks and his first trip to the Pro Bowl, Hatcher looked to maximize his value in free agency with what was possibly his final contract at age 32.

He visited Seattle on Tuesday and Oakland on Wednesday before heading to Washington and agreeing to a deal with the rival Redskins. He will be a defensive end in Washington where he will return to the 3-4 scheme he played for seven years before the Cowboys switched to the 4-3 last season. Hatcher arrived in Dallas as a third-round pick in 2006.

The Cowboys, meanwhile, continued the nickle-and-dime game in free agency Thursday, signing former Saints linebacker Will Herring to a one-year deal.

Herring confirmed his deal with the Cowboys on his Twitter account.

Herring is a seven-year veteran who played the past three years in New Orleans, primarily as special teams player. He had 13 tackles in a reserve role in 2013.

He is the third player added to the team in free agency and the third former backup performer, joining former Texans nose tackle Terrell McClain and former Broncos defensive end Jeremy Mincey.

Center Phil Costa, cut by the Cowboys for salary-cap reasons, found a new home with the Indianapolis Colts Thursday. He reportedly signed two-year contract worth up to $3.5 million.

Hatcher might not be the only Cowboys free agent to find a new home with the Redskins. Defensive end Anthony Spencer was in Washington on Thursday on a free-agent visit.

Clarence E. Hill Jr. 



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