Below is a rough paraphrase of the Ken Hamlin press conference. One thing came out loud and clear - he's going to play FS and they expect him to roam the deep middle and be the QB on defense.
Jerry Jones: Ken Hamlin is joining us at FS, he's a quality vet, but a young player who's a proven talent. We have some young safeties, but with Hamlin's experience he can help them out, he'll help them be better. He'll help Wade do what he wants to do with our scheme, it will help Roy Williams. He would like to have his career with the Dallas Cowboys.
Wade Phillips: Talent is why he's here, but he has leadership abilities, he's a QB of the defense, he can put people in the right place. When he learns the defense he can help the corners and the other safeties. I had Steve Atwater, another safety from Arkansas, Ken reminds me of Steve, he's physical and a smart player along with a hard worker.
Ken Hamlin: This is a great opportunity for me to be part of this group. I'm blessed to be in this position, to be with this team and these coaches, to be a part of Wade's defense.
Wade: Ken's a guy who can roam the middle and help the rest of the secondary. He can do that, we looked at the first 6 games of last year and that's what he did, after that they had to make adjustments to their defense, but he's at home in the middle.
Ken: The Cowboys have the tradition, definitely a big stage and a big opportunity. I grew up watching them play; I'm back in the area I grew up in. You want to find the best fit, and the success Wade has had on defense, the organization and the players, it's a plus all around. I can't wait to start.
Ken: (on the short, 1-year contract) We'll work on that, I would love to be at the new stadium. We'll take this year and try to bring a trophy here, then work on the rest.
Jerry: With the 1-year route, Gurode had success doing that, Ken's situation allows us to work on that for the future. I look at it as a long-term association. He's the kind of individual we want long-term. In terms of where we go, both parties said let's get in here and see what we are all about.
Signing Ken allows us to pick the best athlete in the draft, we like Watkins, too. But when you get a chance to get a top football player, you get him. After Leonard Davis, we didn't know if we would be players, but this was an opportunity to help. In the draft, we can look up there, we don't have to be at any one position, just look at football players.
Ken: I've known Jerry for quite some time, met him at the Cotton Bowl. Known him since Arkansas.
Wade: Anytime you get to add a good player, you do it. We had some strength overall at safety, but this makes us as strong as you can get. We want to win right now.
Jerry: Receivers are going to have to think about going across middle, we got some popping potential there. This will help us maximize what Roy does best.
Jerry: No concern about the off-the-field incident. I know his character, all A+, he's a competitor. Familiar with the accident, because I knew him, paid more attention to the circumstances because I knew him. We've played Seattle a lot lately, got a good chance to be familiar with him. Watched him play first hand at Arkansas. He's an emotional asset, helps the team be emotional, like Michael Irvin, he elevated the play of guys around him. Ken does the same.
Jerry: It's an honor to present Michael (at HoF). A big responsibility, Michael meant a lot to people around him, teammates, coaches, the media. I'll try to reflect that for him. It's an honor, a good feeling.
Ken: (Recovery from injury) It took a while, I had to rest, wait, but after a couple of weeks I felt better. I'm a competitor, I wanted to be in the SB run, but I had to play my part and make sure other guys are prepared and they did a good job. It changed me. You have only so many chances. You definitely have to take advantage of them.
Wade: When you got a guy who can do the things he can do, he's not only a QB on defense, but he's a leader. He'll take the secondary and meet with them at night after practice. We couldn't pass it up. I was surprised he was still available. He fits right in with what we needed.
Jerry: I'm positive about our offseason, makes us have a chance. The kinds of decisions I'm making are for right now, not 3 years down the road, it's about what we can do this year. Chance next year to do something special, I'm really pleased.
T.O.'s recovery is going really well, he still can't move his hand, and he's not doing anything to cause trauma. He'll get the cast off next week. Possibility he'll be here in a few days. We want to limit his travel after the cast is off. Want him to stay close to the area so they can monitor him. From our trainers, and his doctors and from him, all say he is doing fine.
(Romo's contract?) I want his time to be back there with Jason, Wade, and Tony, not worrying about the numbers. I feel good about him; Wade has shared with me how hard he is working. To get to where he is he took every aspect of being an NFL QB seriously, if he continues to do that I feel great about him. Wade has a plan for him and the receivers to get a lot of work this offseason. Something a little different than before. He'll get a chance to improve.