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Size Matters for DT Justin Hamilton; Chance to Make Cowboys Roster?

Defensive spent a week on the roster in 2019. While not a favorite to make the team this year, Hamilton does bring much-needed size to the competition and now may get more opportunities to shine with going to PUP.

Ahead of last year's Week 7 contest against the Washington Football Team, Dallas signed Hamilton off the street after placing on . With also dealing with some issues at that time, Hamilton provided a potential big-bodied DT for the rotation if needed.

Justin was on the roster for that Washington game but wasn't active. He was then released a few days later when Dallas traded for veteran . Hamilton returned to and remained there until January, when the Cowboys re-signed him on a futures deal.

Hamilton isn't another undrafted rookie or second-year prospect. He just turned 27 on Monday and has been in the since 2015 with six different teams. He dressed in eight games for the between 2017-2018.

Listed at 6'2″ and 315 lbs., Hamilton is a true space-eating . His game is based on size and power, lacking the quickness and moves to do much as a pass rusher.

Dallas has plenty of the latter right now. In addition to the returning , the Cowboys signed veteran and spent a 3rd-round pick on this . These guys are all of the more athletic variety.

Report: Free Agent DT Dontari Poe to Sign With Cowboys
Dallas Cowboys DT Dontari Poe

But their other veteran DT signing, Dontari Poe, still hasn't full recovered from offseason quadriceps surgery. The project starter as the 1-technique DT this year, Poe was placed on the PUP list two days ago and won't rejoin the team until he passes a physical.

With having departed in free agency, that leaves Antwaun Woods as the only other experienced run-stopper in the DT group. That should give Justin Hamilton more opportunities to get reps in practice and from further up the .

Someone on the staff clearly likes him. Hamilton was on Dallas' radar to get signed in the middle of the season last year and to also be brought back for 2020.

Along with size, Justin has an right now thanks to his five years of NFL . He's been through training camps and games, plus spent years on other teams' practice squads. Those are valuable commodities in 2020 with robbing rookies of the same experiences.

If Poe were to remain out going into Week One, Dallas could easily be looking at a guy like Hamilton for temporary depth. They did it once before when he was coming off the street so having now had him in could add to his value.

Then again, this is a guy who's had numerous opportunities to catch on with other teams, plus the Cowboys last year. It just hasn't happened yet for Justin and it perhaps it never will.

That said, Justin Hamilton brings size and experience to the DT competition in 2020. Given the circumstances around him, he may have a stronger shot at making the roster this year than you'd think.

Jess Haynie
Jess Haynie
Cowboys fan since 1992, blogger since 2011. Bringing you the objectivity of an outside perspective with the passion of a die-hard fan. I love to talk to my readers, so please comment on any article and I'll be sure to respond!

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