Rookie Adrian Hamilton will be playing in the Super Bowl this weekend for the Baltimore Ravens. He will play as a pass rushing specialist and on special teams.
Hamilton was an undrafted free agent that the Dallas Cowboys brought into preseason camp. He was born in Dallas, Texas and played college football at Prairie View A&M where he led the nation in sacks with 20.5 and was named an all american at the sub division level. This all happened right under the Cowboys’ nose so they had to at least bring him in to have a look.
Hamilton tried to show Dallas what he could do as a pass rusher in a preseason game with the Rams when he absolutely body slammed QB Kellen Clemons to the turf forcing the ball loose on a sack. VIDEO That had to hurt.
Just before final cuts, I blogged that I was impressed with Hamilton’s pass rushing potential and hoped they would find a roster spot for this young talent. HERE
In it I said of Hamilton, “I hope the Cowboys are able to hold on to Hamilton a nice looking prospect.”
A few days later On August 30, when the 53 man roster was announced, Hamilton was not on the roster and that’s when the Ravens wisely stepped in and signed him to their practice squad on September 3rd.
Hamilton remained on the practice squad until December 22 when he was added to the roster for the Ravens.
The Cowboys certainly could have used a pass rushing specialist as their sack numbers were modest this season and down from 2011. One reason Dallas cut him is because Hamilton had no experience on special teams but now he plays on the kickoff team and is doing it well. In his first game with the Ravens he recorded a couple kick coverage tackles and said, “I guess I’m not that bad,” Hamilton said with a laugh. “I’m not as bad on special teams as [Dallas] thought I was.”
Now here the Cowboys are today transitioning to a 4-3 defense and in need of a good hand in the dirt DE pass rusher as the prospects of resigning Anthony Spencer look difficult. Could sure use that sack machine from right there in Dallas about now huh? Even if Spencer is kept, he doesn’t bring a strong ability to rush the passer. The last couple seasons Ware has provided the pass rush.
To build a championship team, a GM has got to know who to keep and who to discard and the decisions aren’t always easy, but getting those right is important to a team’s success. It takes a few undrafted talents to get an advantage in the NFL where creating a level playing field is the policy. I think while watching the super bowl Sunday, Cowboy fans will see one that got away in Adrian Hamilton.
Just go back and watch that video again of the Rams preseason game and tell me Dallas couldn’t have used a player like that this season and next. Now Dallas will likely have to look in the draft for a DE that can sack QBs.