Ken Hamlin - Cowboys QB on the defense - gets paid

Its official,  Ken Hamlin signed a deal for six years at $39 million. $15 million is guaranteed with $9 million coming in a roster bonus. It’s top-end money for a safety, but then Ken Hamlin is a top-end safety. We all saw that last year, and with a more talented secondary around him this year and with the defensive scheme already in place from last year, I think we can expect an even greater impact from our QB on the defense.

"I'm just glad everything has worked out," Hamlin said. "It means a lot for me to know the organization wants me to be around for a long period of time, and I definitely wanted to be there as well."

Hamlin’s long-term deal is just the crowning feather in the cap for Jerry Jones and Stephen Jones. I don’t know how they’re doing it but those two have managed to get just about everyone signed to long-term deals that the Cowboys needed to this offseason. Terrell Owens, Flozell Adams, Terence Newman and Marion Barber all received new contracts. They also acquired AJ (Adam Jones)* and Zach Thomas. The only guy left is Chris Canty. Over the last few years, the Cowboys have been locking up their stars to long-term contracts. Players know if they produce here - they’ll get paid. The core of this team should be together for the next few seasons. Kudos to Jerry and Stephen.

*(I’m going with AJ for Adam Jones. I thought of doing it before when he first said he's not Pacman anymore, just because "A" and "J" rhyme, it's short and obviously his initials, just like Marion Barber has become MB3 to me because it’s short, it's his initials and "B" and "3" rhyme. So when I heard Ken Hamlin say AJ on Jim Rome’s show yesterday, I figured I'd do it. Besides, Adam Jones just seems like a player who needs a nickname.)

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BTB-regular scottmaui went nuts yesterday and dropped a ton of Cowboys knowledge on us with not 1 or 2 FanShots, but 5 FanShots all at the same time. I went and checked out the articles he linked to and found it good reading material. Check some of it out for yourself. 1234 and 5

Especially read the first one listed above about the defensive line and Tank Johnson. Everyone at Valley Ranch seems to be raving about the potential of Tank this year. If he is playing like a starter and getting a lot of reps, then Jay Ratliff is free to play some NT, some DE and some DT when we go to four-down. With the improved play of Chris Canty from last year, that should be an imposing defensive line. And that’s not even taking into account the principles of the 3-4 and how at least one OLB is really a down-lineman on every play. ESPN continues it’s ranking of the different position groups with a take on defensive lines. The Cowboys rank sixth.

The Cowboys utilize a three-man front most of the time, but the outside linebackers will rush the passer from the defensive end position during obvious passing downs. DEs Marcus Spears and Chris Canty give the Cowboys great size on the edge and do a good job of getting their hands up in the air to alter passing lanes. NTs Jay Ratliff and newly signed Tank Johnson give Dallas quickness and agility on the inside and can shoot gaps to penetrate and cause problems in the backfield. Defensive coordinator Brian Stewart will blitz his linebackers from every angle at any point in the game.

That’s pretty generic but not wholly inaccurate. They also did TE’s and OL’s that I missed posting recently. I dropped them in below the fold. Be sure to click on the link below to see them.

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Special teamer and backup to DeMarcus Ware, Justin Rogers, gets some ink. Justin has some work to do this training camp. Sixth round pick Erik Walden and UDFA Darrell Robertson will be looking to take his job. One of the bottom of the roster camp battles that will soon be upon us!

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Continued from front-page...

For both the TE group and the OL group the Cowboys ranked second in the NFL. Not too shabby. Antonio Gates and crew

edged out

Jason Witten, star of stage and screen Tony Curtis and newcomer Martellus Bennett.  

The Cowboys boast two tight ends who can have an impact in the passing game and also are effective blockers. Jason Witten had the best season of his career in 2007 and has been one of the most consistent and durable tight ends in the league in recent years. Dallas' front office also drafted an excellent athlete with good size in Martellus Bennett, who likely will be on the field with Witten at times to create mismatches in the passing game. The depth that Bennett provides will give offensive coordinator Jason Garrett another versatile weapon to use in two-tight end formations, forcing defenses to balance up. Witten should prove to be an excellent mentor and should bring Bennett along quickly.

 What? No mention of "Touchdown" Tony Curtis! Give the guy some love.

Our humongous and imposing offensive line came in second in the NFL. The Browns, who are good and deep, came in first.

Adding 6-6, 366-pound Leonard Davis to an already stable offensive line was a great move that paid off in a big way last year. A bit of a washout at tackle, Davis proved to be an exceptional guard, and the Cowboys ran behind him when they needed tough yards. Center Andre Gurode doesn't get the credit he deserves as one of the best pivot men in the game today. Getting to QB Tony Romo is very difficult against a group that not only pass protects well, but also holds its own as run-blockers. LT Flozell Adams had his best season, but he signed a new contract in the offseason and will need to keep his intensity up after the big payday. RT Marc Colombo is the weakest link among the starters and could be pushed for playing time if he doesn't play better in training camp. Still, this is a tough group that's coached by Hudson Houck, who is one of the best line coaches in the league and has a knack for getting the most out of his players.

Marc Colombo is the weak link? Sorry, I've have to give that honor to Kyle Kosier, although I think he's a serviceable player. Colombo has actually done a great job of solidifying  a position that was once a revolving door for us. And I don't think his job is in jeopardy at all and he's also playing for a contract, usually a motivating factor. But I'll still keep my eye on Doug Free in camp, that kid looks like a player.

 

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