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Cowboys safety Malik Hooker: “This is the perfect place for me”

It’s only been a few days, but Hooker is already hooked on the idea of his fit in Dallas.

Indianapolis Colts Training Camp Photo by Michael Hickey/Getty Images

Every learning curve is different. Some curves are highly protracted, and take an incredible dose of effort and adapting to fully master. Others are much shorter and straight-line, with very few bumps and hiccups present on the path to full acclimation.

New Cowboys safety Malik Hooker’s curve seems to be adhering more to the latter. He’s only been a member of the ‘Boys franchise for a few days, but he’s already taken a keen liking to his new surroundings.

On the fresh start with his new squad, Hooker had this to say:

“I feel like this is the perfect place for me for my decision. I felt like this is where home was at...it’s just about getting out there and having fun and playing the game. Anybody that watched me play, anytime I played and I was healthy, I made an impact on the games I played.

For me, it ain’t about what I got to prove. It’s about me staying available and healthy at this point.’’

Hooker has already begun the familiarization process with Dallas, and was seen participating in several workouts, as well as conversing with defensive coordinator Dan Quinn in his first week at Oxnard.

Quinn’s defensive scheme is a system that Hooker feels suits him well, given the experience he’s had in similar regimes. And Quinn has expressed an excitement that mirrors the 25-year-old Ohio State product’s emotion.

Dallas’ D is fully aware of the skillset they’ve just been blessed with, and Hooker’s own assessment of himself is fair and accurate.

“A game-changer and an athletic ballhawk. That’s what I’ve been since I came out. Also vocally I’m a leader.’’

But as the self-proclaimed game-changer has already professed, health will be a chief concern as he starts his voyage at the Star. Since he’s entered the NFL fraternity, Hooker has dealt with a torn labrum in his hip, sports hernia, torn ACL and MCL, groin and foot injuries, another hip ailment, torn meniscus, and a most recently, a torn Achilles. It’s only been four season since he entered the league.

Hooker knows that remaining healthy has been his kryptonite, but he’s pushing fears about his physical well-being to the back realms of his mind.

“It was frustrating for me at first, but now it comes with the game. Every football player that plays the game, plays it in this system, specifically, they get something back whether it’s a torn labrum whatever the case may be. For me, it’s not really frustrating now, it’s just about trusting it and trusting the process for me. Staying confident knowing, believing in my abilities and what I can do.

I feel like that was a big part of me getting back as fast as I did, feeling how I do now is just believing as a player in my abilities and the gifts that God gave me.”

He’ll face some stiff competition at free safety in the form of Damontae Kazee, but the endeavors of his teammates remain out of his control. What matters to Hooker right now is that he’s confident in his own abilities, and assured that he can make the most of them within Dan Quinn’s defense.