The Dallas Cowboys’ beleaguered defense suffered another blow Thursday as safety Jakar Hamilton was suspended the first four games of the season by the NFL for violating the substance abuse policy.
The NFL has yet to make an official announcement, but multiple sources confirm Hamilton has been suspended. A four-game suspension means Hamilton has violated the drug policy twice and will be subject to unannounced testing up to 10 times a month.
Another failed test could result in a one-year suspension.
Hamilton is a backup safety who had been expected to help on special teams and in some sub packages on defense.
He is the second defender to miss the first four games of the season on NFL suspension, joining cornerback Orlando Scandrick who violated the league’s policy on performance enhancing drugs. Scandrick took “a molly,” which contained amphetamines, while vacationing in Mexico.
Hamilton joined the Cowboys last year as an undrafted free agent from South Carolina State. He opened the season on the practice squad before being signed to the roster in October and playing three games with the team as a rookie.
Hamilton and Scandrick are eligible to rejoin the team Sept. 29 in preparation for the team’s game against the Houston Texans.
Hamilton had a solid training camp, but injuries have limited him to just one preseason game heading into tonight.
“Jakar’s done a really nice job,” coach Jason Garrett said earlier this week. “Unfortunately, he has been banged up here the last couple weeks. He’s a guy that really, really made great strides, both as a backend safety, played a little bit as a nickel guy, he’s improved on special teams.
“He has a lot of physical ability, and the big thing with him, like a lot of young guys, is simply maturing as a player. He definitely demonstrated that. But he has been out the last couple weeks. We like him a lot, and he’s certainly developed quickly for us, but his injury’s certainly a factor in our evaluation of him.”