ARLINGTON, Texas – Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman Jason Hatcher may have a fallback if his football career goes away.
The rest of the Cowboys who competed in Home Run Derby at Rangers Ballpark better stick to football.
The 6-6, 305-pound Hatcher won the derby and hit four legitimate home runs off former Rangers outfielder Kevin Mench. Two of the home runs went over the 404-foot wall in centerfield.
Hatcher definitely represented the good in the event that raised $43,000 the Salvation Army. The rest was a mixture of bad (Miles Austin, who at least avoided getting hurt) and the ugly (Dez Bryant’s batting stroke, which was surprisingly effective).
“I can do it all, man,” Hatcher said after beating Bryant in the final round. “I’m just kidding. I’m going to stick to football. I played a little bit at high school. I always knew I could hit. It felt good.”
How dominant was Hatcher? Of the money raised, $19,000 came on balls he hit. It was $19,000 more than homer that came off the bat of the likes of corner back Brandon Carr and Austin, who were shut out in the event despite using aluminum bats and trying to hit over temporary fences set up just outside the infield.
Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett, who won the event last year, was one of six who made it to the semifinals. That proved to be the end of the road for Garrett though.
“I did OK,” Garrett said. “But they changed the rules on me so it’s a little more challenging for me. We used aluminum bats this year. Last year was the wood bats. The ball came off a little bit better.”
Even Garrett was impressed by what Hatcher did.
“Did you see the ball Hatcher hit?” Garrett said. “God almighty.”
The event featured a who’s who of current Cowboys including Jason Witten, Demarco Murray and linebacker Sean Lee.
While there were some ugly cuts, there were some surprising performances too. Bryant advanced to the finals before getting shut out.
“I’m not really big on baseball,” said Bryant, who was excited after hitting a legit homer in the first round. “I feel like if I put my mind to it I could do it.”
Maybe the speedy Bryant could help out the Rangers the way former Cowboy Deion Sanders used to help the Atlanta Braves, with his feet.