He's the newest starter on the Cowboys defense, yet free safety Ken Hamlin has already gained respect.
"He's kind of been a leader for us back in the back end," said Cowboys head coach Wade Phillips, "so he's been real good for us."
"He's the best free safety in the league," Cowboys linebacker DeMarcus Ware said. "He's a monster."
He will need to be to help the Cowboys cut down on the big plays. The struggles of Pat Watkins and Keith Davis at free safety last year played a big part in the Cowboys giving up 18 plays of 20 or more yards in the final four games of the season.
"You know, that's been kind of, one of the missing links in our defense," said Cowboys linebacker Bradie James.
Not anymore says Hamlin, who is ready to take over in centerfield.
"Most definitely," said Hamlin, "shortstop and centerfield is my thing and on the field I'm a wild man. As soon as it's about to be game time, I'm revved up and ready to go."
He showed how revved up he is, getting in a scrum with an offensive lineman at practice today. Maybe that's exactly what the Cowboys need.
"There's no excuse about our defense anymore," James said. "We can't say we have a missing link here. We have a nice group. It's up to us to go out and put it all together. That's what we're doing in training camp, gelling, we've got to show it now."
-- Wide receiver Terrell Owens was held out of practice today by head coach Wade Phillips. He isn't hurt. Phillips just said it's a chance to give a veteran a day off.
--Fellow wide receiver Terry Glenn is hurt. He returned to Dallas today to get his sore knee scoped and is expected to miss at least two weeks.
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