Dallas Cowboys

Jason Garrett says Jakar Hamilton has a chance to contribute

Keith Smith played 10 special teams plays Sunday, but he was released Tuesday to make room for the return of safety Jakar Hamilton.

“We like Jakar,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. “We like the progress that Jakar has made. He’s a young player, but he’s gotten better and better. He can be a guy that can contribute on defense, both as a safety -- he showed us he can play a little bit down in a nickel-type role throughout training camp when we had some guys banged up – and then also just contributing on special teams. Part of the 53, we’ll sort out if he’s going to be part of the 46 [and thus active on game day] as we go forward. But he’s certainly a young player who has gotten better and better for us.”

Hamilton served a four-game suspension for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy. He returned last week, but the Cowboys used a one-week roster exemption and chose not to activate him until Monday.

He played in three games last season, spending most of his rookie season on the practice squad. He had three special teams tackles.

Smith could get a call-up again this week as the Cowboys could be without two linebackers, Bruce Carter (right quadriceps) and Rolando McClain (left groin).