Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones admitted last week that defensive tackle Jason Hatcher has played better than the three-year, $6 million deal signed back in 2011 and said he’d fully understand if Hatcher was a bit frustrated by not having a long-term deal.
Hatcher, who will become a free agent at season’s end, leads the team in sacks with nine and tackles for a loss with five.
"What a class act," Jones told 105.3-FM The Fan, via ESPN Dallas. “He's a leader. He certainly has been solid for us. Not unlike any other player we ever had here, he wants to be paid fairly. He's certainly outperforming his contract, I'll be the first to admit that but unfortunately for us, we're in a situation that we got a very very tight cap situation and I know he understands that from a business standpoint. He may not like it but understands it.”
There’s no doubt that, in a perfect world, the Cowboys would bring Hatcher back before he even got to free agency. But the reality is that, at the moment, the Cowboys are projected to go into the offseason $31 million over the cap.
“We certainly don't know what the salary cap is going to be next year as far as the league is concerned,” Jones said. “We’re so tight that we’ll need to see that before we can make a decision on what we can do with Jason financially. We certainly want to be in the mix. We respect there may be a little frustration but what a class act. He certainly doesn’t show any of that with his teammates with he's done on the football field. I have complete admiration for the job he's done this year."
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