- Calvin Watkins, ESPN Staff Writer
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He signed a four-year deal late Thursday afternoon with the Washington Redskins, one of the Cowboys' biggest rivals in the division. And if things go according to plan, the Cowboys could also lose defensive end Anthony Spencer, who also visited the Redskins on Thursday.
The Cowboys will miss Hatcher's production in their 4-3 defense.
As the three-technique, Hatcher's job was to push the pocket and he finished the season with a career-high 11 sacks, which earned him a Pro Bowl selection. Pro Football Focus ranked Hatcher as the eighth best defensive tackle in the NFL and he was tied for first among players at his position in sacks.
Hatcher was 13th in quarterback hits (seven) and fourth in quarterback in hurries (33).
He was solid on the field and off it and emerged as a locker room leader.
During the season, he asked the other veteran players to step up their games, and while he tried to downplay it when asked about it at first, team officials were glad somebody spoke up.
The team needed Hatcher during the season especially when Jay Ratliff didn't respond well to his injuries. He also changed positions, moving from 3-4 end to 4-3 tackle.
Hatcher said during the season it was the best move he could have ever made in his career.
And he used it to get a four-year deal from the Redskins.
Now, he'll move back to an end in the 3-4. All of a sudden, the Redskins' pass rush looks better than the Cowboys'.