Jason Hatcher hopes to return to Cowboys


ARLINGTON, Texas -- While the main discussions on Wednesday surrounded right tackle Doug Free's status, defensive tackle Jason Hatcher talked about his own contract status.

Hatcher, who will be paid $2 million in 2013, is in the final year of his contract. No contract talks have started between the sides.

"I'm sure I want to be back," Hatcher said after winning a charity home run derby event at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. "You can't make guys want you. You got to go out and perform. Sometimes it's a numbers thing, sometimes it's a money thing. Hopefully I will be back."

The Cowboys have let some homegrown defensive linemen leave in the past, from Chris Canty to Stephen Bowen.

Former first-round pick Marcus Spears was tendered twice and eventually received a second contract from the Cowboys, before getting released after the 2012 season. Spears signed with the Baltimore Ravens this offseason.

Hatcher has become a dependable member of the Cowboys defensive line and will change positions, moving from end to tackle, in 2013. The Cowboys had a chance to draft a defensive tackle in the NFL draft last week but declined.

"I love the state I’m in," Hatcher said. "I love the organizaton. I love my teammates. I'm going to go out here and play my butt off; that's what they pay me to do. I'm not going to worry about a contract at all."