Like eveyrone else in the world paying attention to football, the Cowboys are impressed by what Peyton Manning’s doing.
But they’re not intimidated.
Cowboys defensive tackle Jason Hatcher was clear with that distinction.
“Don’t think for one minute we’re scared,” Hatcher said, via Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News. “We ain’t scared of nobody. I don’t really care who it is. They’re going to make plays. Any team can make plays against you. We just have to play 60 minutes of football, very sound football against a great quarterback.
“We have respect for him, but at the end of the day, they got to have respect for us as well. We’re not a pushover team at all. We’re definitely ready to play.”
Confidence is expected, and admirable until it passes a certain point. Any defense which isn’t a little apprehensive about playing Manning when he’s in his current surgical form (138.0 rating, 16 touchdowns, no interceptions) isn’t doing itself any favors.
“He can be beat,” Hatcher continued. “But at the same time, you have to respect a guy like that. He’s probably one of the best. When he leaves this game, he’ll be the greatest who ever did it, so of course you respect him.
“You see what he does week in and week out. We have our work cut out for us. We’re excited about the challenge. I know I am. I enjoy playing against a guy like that.”
We’ll see if he has the same enthusiasm when the game’s over.