The latest in a season ripe with devastating injuries, it was announced today that Lofa Tatupu would undergo surgery for a torn right pectoral muscle, ending his season and sending the three-time Pro Bowler to the injured reserve. There, he will join left tackle Walter Jones, whose season "officially" ended yesterday after weeks of speculation.
Replacing Tatupu, in Dallas and now for the rest of 2009, will be Texas Christian product David Hawthorne.
Hawthorne, a native of Corsicana, was picked up by the Seahawks as an undrafted free agent in 2008. In his first NFL start last week against Chicago, the former Horned Frog recorded an impressive 17 tackles and an interception. With the news of Tatupu's injury, Hawthorne will look to step into the leadership void left by the veteran.
“Every time you go out there the main focus is to put out good tape and help my teammates win,” Hawthorne said in the Olympian. “So my role is to be the commander of the defense. So I’m taking on the role. It’s a big responsibility and I’m up for the challenge.”
For Hawthorne's father, who is a lifelong Cowboys fan, Sunday represents a prime opportunity to see his son in action, but also a conflict of interest.
“It’s going to be an emotional roller coaster for the big guy,” Hawthorne continued. “But he loves football. And he loves the fact that I’ve got an opportunity to play, and he has an opportunity to come watch me. I mean he’s a die-hard Cowboys fan, but he’s my fan also.”