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What’s Next For Jason Hatcher & Anthony Spencer?

Brian Leatherman



Cowboys Blog - What's Next For Jason Hatcher & Anthony Spencer? 4

One of the many questions floating around Valley Ranch these days is what to do about Jason Hatcher and Anthony Spencer. Since it’s been reported that the Cowboys have reached out to both players agent, let’s ask the question ourselves...

Starting with Jason Hatcher:


Hatcher is coming off his first pro-bowl season while leading the team in sacks and the entire league at his position in sacks. He went from playing a DE in a 3-4 defense his entire pro career to playing 3-tech in a 4-3 scheme (versatile). Not only did he have a tough job learning a new position, but a new scheme as well. And physically, many wondered if the switch would work.

At 6’6 and coming in around 300lbs the coaches and front office thought he was too tall and would have trouble getting any leverage at the snap of the ball. Well, he proved that wasn’t going to be a problem from day 1 in training camp. Just on the pros, there shouldn’t be much of a question why we should sign him up. Ahhh, but wait, let’s get to the cons.


Hatcher is coming off his best season yet with career numbers that are hard to ignore, however there’s another number that is hard to ignore as well. That’s Hatcher's age. He’s 32! That’s getting on up there in football years and as of right now, he refuses to see that as a problem. The problem with that is he isn’t the one that will be signing his checks.

Another issue that comes up is that Hatcher has always been a serviceable player - a guy that would come in and do his job and you could count on - but where was this type of production in the past? Which leaves the question, did he let the last year of his contract motivate him to put out this type of year? It’s happened in the past with other players.

And finally, the contract he’s looking for. Hatcher is looking to get paid one last time, and you really can’t blame the guy for wanting that. I haven’t heard it for a fact, but I would think he would be looking for a 4 to 5 year deal somewhere in the 35 to 40 million dollar range. And while the league did help out by bumping up the salary cap, Stephen and the crew would still have to renegotiate other deals to get him there.

And then Anthony Spencer:


2012 - Spencer was slapped with a Franchise tag and put up a Pro-bowl year with a career high in sacks, and he’s always been a beast against the run. He just never put up the sack numbers prior to that season. He was dubbed "Almost" Anthony because of it.

So After the 2012 season he was given the franchise tag once again. This meant another cool 10 mil in his pocket. In my opinion he was one of the most underrated players at his position in the entire league since he took over for Greg Ellis, but the unthinkable happened for him and the cowboys...


2013 - He tweaked his knee at mini-camp, which was originally thought to be a 3 week treatment plan and back to work he would go. Three weeks turned to 4 and so on and he missed the entire preseason and everyone was told he would be back to play in the opener against the Giants. That never happened either.

Spencer ended up playing the next week in KC and had 2 tackles. After that game, he didn't suit up for the Cowboys again in 2013. In October, Spencer had the dreaded micro-fracture surgery on his knee.

To players of today, it's equal to what a torn ACL back in the 70’s and 80’s was to players - players just don’t seem to be the same after having that kind of surgery done on their knee. Reports coming out of Valley Ranch are that Spencer was seen on crunches just about a month ago. And like Hatcher, his age is a question; he’ll turn 31 this season. However, all this could work in favor of Jerry & Co. if they're able to get Spencer at a very reduced price, but even still, would you be willing to risk it?

So there you have it.

If you were the General Manager of the Dallas Cowboys, what would you do?

Brian has been a football junkie from the time he was 5 years old. He lives, eats and breathes the game. Brian is a college graduate living in the south who loves his faith, his family, and his Dallas Cowboys.

Star Blog

Was Sunday A “Wake Up Call,” Or Were Cowboys Exposed?

Kevin Brady



Was Sunday A "Wake Up Call," Or A Flashback To Reality?

Entering last Sunday's game in Indianapolis, the Dallas Cowboys were riding high. Having won five straight games, including key victories over the top seeded Saints and division rival Eagles, everything seemed to be breaking right for the Cowboys heading into the home stretch.

Their defense was playing like one of the best in football, and after firing Paul Alexander and trading for Amari Cooper their offense was clicking just as they'd hoped. They needed (and still need) just one win to officially close out the division and clinch a home playoff game in January.

Instead, the Cowboys got absolutely demolished by the Indianapolis Colts. Of course, there's no shame in losing a road game to an 8-6 team in the NFL, but the way in which they lost certainly deserves some shame. Not even the 23-0 score can encapsulate the complete butt-kicking Dallas received at the hands of the Colts, and it was the type of loss that can sometimes make you question the blueprint.

The Cowboys, however, are not looking at it that way. Multiple leaders in the locker room have spoke this week about how they "needed" to lose like that. Running back Ezekiel Elliott called the loss embarrassing, but also said it is better for Dallas in the "grand scheme of the season."

Clearly, the leaders and coaches are calling the putrid performance a wake up call, something that will galvanize them and reset their win streak heading into the postseason. But is this really the case, or was the shutout defeat more of a sign of things to come?

Obviously it's too early to say for sure, but I do think it can be a little bit of both.

No, the Cowboys are not the class of the NFC, despite beating what can be called the best team in the same conference a couple weeks ago. There probably will prove to be some drop-off from the top 3 seeds in the conference and the Cowboys, if for no other reason than Dallas will have to go on the road to play those teams in the playoffs. It's really hard to win on the road in the NFL, especially with the increased wackiness of 2018.

The Cowboys offense is far from perfect or prolific, though if clicking they now have the skill talent to drop 30+ points any given Sunday. Their defense is talented, has a high ceiling, but is still very young and inexperienced. Though they've played elite level games before, they've also had some stinkers against the Colts and Titans during the same season.

All of this can be true. The Cowboys can be a team deserving of the playoffs, a team we should not be panicking over, but still a very flawed football team. They can be a team that if "hot" could make a run through the postseason, but also will have to answer some tough questions about coaches and players during the next two offseasons.

After all, who isn't greatly flawed in today's NFL? Hell, we just saw the beloved Rams lose two straight games.

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Star Blog

Is it Too Late For Dallas to Fire OC Scott Linehan?

Brian Martin



Scott Linehan

Grab your pitchforks and your torches, it's time to run the Dallas Cowboys Offensive Coordinator Scott Linehan out of town. His playcalling has been absolutely atrocious season and it's time for him to hit the road, even if there are only two regular-season games left on the schedule.

It's completely unorthodox for an NFL team to fire an offensive coordinator this late in the season, but just last week we saw the Minnesota Vikings do just that when they parted ways with John DeFilippo. It was definitely a bold move to make considering the Vikings are still in playoff contention, but it was something they believed was in the best interest of their team.

I believe if the Dallas Cowboys want to do what's best for their team right now and not later, then they should go ahead and cut ties with Scott Linehan. His predictability and un-creativeness as a play caller is holding back a talented offense, which is hurting the overall team as a result. He's been given every opportunity to turn things around, but enough is enough.

I'd personally be on board with Jason Garrett taking over the playcalling duties. He has the experience and held the position with the Cowboys from 2007 until Linehan was hired. I'd even consider giving Kellen Moore a shot as the OC. He knows the system and has worked closely with Quarterback Dak Prescott. Regardless, the Cowboys need to find some way to increase their offensive productivity.

Kellen Moore

Dallas Cowboys QB Coach Kellen Moore

Right now the Cowboys offense is the 26th scoring offense in the NFL and are averaging just 19.7 points per game. To make matters worse they are the 31st ranked Red Zone offense in the league. I don't know about you, but I think that is completely unacceptable with the talent they have on the offensive side of the ball.

Firing Linehan has been a long time coming. The Cowboys flirted with the idea earlier this season during the bye week and should've pulled the trigger then, but for some reason or another decided to let him stick around. They are definitely still paying for that mistake now.

The Cowboys mistake not to replace Linehan could mean yet another early exit in the playoffs, something we have unfortunately become accustomed to. Scoring just 19 points a game isn't going to get them very far, which is truly unfortunate considering the talent they've acquired this season.

Unfortunately, as much as we would love to see Scott Linehan tarred and feathered and run out of town, I just don't see the Cowboys doing that before their season is officially over. But, in no way should he be allowed to retain his position beyond this season. He clearly isn't the answer any longer.

Do you think the Dallas Cowboys should fire Scott Linehan?

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Star Blog

Despite Embarrassing Showing, Health Remains Biggest Cowboys Concern

Kevin Brady



Zack Martin

What is it about the AFC South with these Dallas Cowboys?

Dallas' five game winning streak came to a close on Sunday, as they got straight-up embarrassed by the now 8-6 Indianapolis Colts on the road. The loss was the first since the Cowboys were embarrassed by a different AFC South competitor, the Tennessee Titans, on Monday night football earlier this season.

Though the final was 23-0, and not a single phase (or really even a single player) showed much fight or promise, the biggest concern I have for the Cowboys moving forward didn't change because of the putrid performance. It didn't change because the defense was gashed play after play or the offense failed to finish a single drive. And it didn't even change because both the Redskins and Eagles secured season-saving victories on the same day Dallas was dismantled.

The biggest concern is still their health, particularly across the offensive line.

That was not a playoff caliber interior offensive line the Cowboys put out their on Sunday. Not even close.

With their backup center in Joe Looney, backup guard in Connor Williams, and the very last interior offensive linemen on their roster in Adam Redmond playing for basically the entire game, this offense never had a chance. Dak Prescott wasn't any more inaccurate or indecisive than normal, but all those who like to scream "step up in the pocket" whenever he is sacked did not seem to have an argument this week.

There often was no pocket to step into, as those interior three, specifically Looney and Redmond, failed to provide much protection or confidence for Prescott at all. Joe Looney has actually been rather solid this season, but Sunday felt like one of his worst games of the entire year.

The Cowboys absolutely need Zack Martin to get healthy if they are to make any noise whatsoever in the postseason. At the very least, the need Xavier Su'a-Filo to come back and replace Redmond, and regain the form he displayed during his debut against the Eagles back in November.

Prescott already has issues with his pocket presence and footwork when pressured, so throwing three backup-level linemen right in front of him is not a recipe for success for the Cowboys.

I'm not jumping out of the window over this loss, and I don't think any of you should be either. Dallas had won three straight incredibly emotional and important home games to extend, save, and solidify their season respectively before this loss. They had also just about clinched the NFC East a week ago with their win over Philadelphia, and they played like a team that was due a flat performance

A letdown loss on the road, against a good team I might add, is not the end of the world. The bigger issue here is their health, because if Martin can return to anchor this offensive line, the offense should look a whole lot better than they did against Indianapolis.

It's time to move on from Sunday, go beat Tampa Bay, officially clinch the division, and get ready for Wild Card Weekend.

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