Jerry Jones has said time and time again that the Dallas Cowboys safeties are already on the roster. We know that Barry Church is a surefire starter, but who plays alongside him is a looming question. J.J. Wilcox showed promise in his rookie year, but inconsistent play cost him the job to Jeff Heath, who at times really struggled. Matt Johnson is apparently a practice superstar, but he hasn’t stayed healthy enough to play a full game in two years. Alas, there is another, not often-discussed Safety on the team with enormous potential: Jakar Hamilton
After training camp last year, Dallas lost out on several undrafted free agents who they really liked, such as Linbacker Brandon McGhee who was given a hefty signing bonus by the Cleveland Browns. They were sure, however, to retain Hamilton: a safety out of South Carolina State and a few other places.
Hamilton started his collegiate career at Georgia Military Academy. After earning All-America honors for the Junior College division (rated the second JUC prospect behind Cam Newton), his talents were battled over by the Universities of Georgia and powerhouse Alabama. “Hitman”, as he was known, opted for the Bulldogs. After a solid junior year campaign, Hamilton suffered a hamstring injury going into training camp. That, combined with emerging young talent, prompted him to transfer to SC State, where he would get more playing time and be closer to family.
Despite the odd sequence of events, scouts took great notice to Hamilton, the younger brother of NFL running back Mike Goodson. He was invited to work out for six teams, Dallas being one of them. His 40-yard dash time hovered around 4.56, and he displayed a monstrous 41.5″ vertical leap – higher than any of the safeties in this year’s class.
This past season, Hamilton was promoted from the practice squad following an injury to J.J. Wilcox. He played sparingly, but his athleticism was obvious. As a safety in college, Hamilton showed a better-than-average ability to keep up with receivers, good awareness, and solid tackling despite a somewhat small frame.
Jakar Hamilton has a real opportunity to compete, as the safety position is still very much in flux for the Cowboys. At the very least, he should be a solid special teams contributor. Aware that he may not make the roster, however, Hamilton worked out at South Carolina State’s recent pro day, along with Oakland Raiders linebacker and fellow SC State alumn Marshall McFadden.
Once again, Jakar Hamilton will have many hills to climb in order to achieve his dream. That being said, he has a lot of potential and is in a good place to fulfill it.