Cowboys Release Former Pro Bowl Safety Ken Hamlin


The Cowboys made waves in the NFL world today, cutting former Pro Bowlers OT Flozell "the Hotel" Adams and S Ken Hamlin.  Jerrah Jones no doubt probably made the move out of money, because Hamlin was due $5.59 million after signing a 6-year, $39 million deal in 2008.  It was not disclosed if this was a release-and-re-sign type of move, or if the Cowboys are parting ways with them for good.

Just as a disclaimer....I am not one to throw up my hands and blindly say "ooooh, so and so is available.  We should go after him."  It's pretty clear the Bucs are looking to selefct affordable players with potentially unrealized upside through free agency and by trades.  However, Hamlin is an intriguing option worth discussing, and it's not every day a Pro Bowl player is released.  Undoubtedly, he will be looking for a new big deal at age 29 (which is on the outside fringe of that "youth movement" proclamation, but I'm not sure even they know what it means), but will he be able to pull in what he'll be looking for?  After making it to the Pro Bowl following a highly productive 2007 season, he signed his fat deal fit for an elite player, but his game did not follow suit.  Recently, he had a knack for giving up the big play, which had been the achilles' heel of the Cowboys defense going back the past few years until they finally solved that problem last year.  Here's a look at his career stats:

Defense Stats
2003 SEA 16 96 76 20 8 0.0 2 0 1 2 0
2004 SEA 16 80 64 16 9 2.0 1 0 4 48 0
2005 SEA 6 26 22 4 2 0.0 0 0 0 0 0
2006 SEA 16 96 75 21 11 2.0 1 0 3 63 0
2007 DAL 16 62 45 17 15 0.0 0 0 5 93 0
2008 DAL 16 74 53 21 2 1.0 1 0 1 0 0
2009 DAL 12 52 40 12 2 0.0 0 0 0 0 0
Career 98 486 375 111 49 5.0 5 0 14 206 0

The Cowboys run an aggressive man coverage defensive scheme, putting the safeties in a Cover 2 responsibility for half of the field deep each.  Although they mixed up their defense a good bit, their base defense still came back to this assignment most of the time.  In the Tampa 2, Hamlin would be given a smaller area of coverage responsibility, more like that of a Cover 3 scheme.  He's got the speed to close quickly on passing lanes and could return to becoming an effective player, if he's hungry to prove he's still a high-calibur player and worth of his former contract.  What I don't like about him is that he tends to be out of control in his tackling form and can whiff on the occasional tackle, something this team really doesn't need more of.  Then again, that's been a Sunday afternoon for Sabby Piscitelli, who's coverage skills and overall speed concern me, so he could certainly be an upgrade to the position.

What do you think?  Would you be interested in taking a closer look at Hamlin

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