DT Hatcher 'very confident' he will play in opener

Published Aug. 26, 2013 6:36 p.m. ET

IRVING, Texas -- Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Jason Hatcher didn't participate in Monday's practice because of a groin injury.

The seven-year veteran said he's not sure when he'll be back but said he's "very confident" he'll be "100 percent" when the Cowboys open the season against the New York Giants on Sept. 8.

"I'm going to take this thing as slow as possible," Hatcher said. "I just don't want to go out there and make it worse and then have a nagging pain in New York. That wouldn't be smart at all.

"I'm just going to listen to the trainers. I'm going to listen to myself. I'm not going to go out there until I'm ready and until they think I'm ready."

Hatcher said if the team had a game in a couple days he would be on the field. But because the Cowboys are already without defensive tackle Jay Ratliff and defensive end Anthony Spencer, Hatcher sees no reason to risk losing a third starter on the defensive line.

"I'm not worried about this injury," Hatcher said. "It's mostly just sore. I didn't pop it or anything like that. If I popped it, I'd be worried. I'm not worried at all. Just take time and rest it up and I'll be OK."