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Hamilton: Suspension Was For Missed Test, Not A Failed One
ARLINGTON, Texas – Jakar Hamilton said it was actually a missed drug test, not a failed one, that prompted his four-game suspension this season.
That detail isn’t going to matter Hamilton learned Thursday his appeal to the NFL was denied and he’ll miss the first four weeks of the 2014 season. The Cowboys safety failed a test for an unidentified substance as a rookie in 2013, and it was his failure to test for league officials that earned him the ban.
Hamilton said the failed test wasn’t for a recreational drug or a performance-enhancing drug, but he declined to acknowledge what it was. He said the testers were missing when he showed up at Valley Ranch to test during OTAs – not that it matters.
“They said I missed. I’m not really for sure, but they suspended me and what’s done is done,” he said. “My next thing is to have this as testimony, a statement for the upcoming guys – don’t mess with it.”
Along with Orlando Scandrick, the Cowboys are now missing two defensive backs for the first month of the 2014 season as a result of failed drug tests. Unfortunately for Hamilton, it seems Scandrick’s spot on the team’s roster is much more secure once the time off has been served.
“From here on out, all I can do is to continue to work hard and do everything I need to do to just to stay a Cowboy, stay fit, stay ready and come back ready to play,” Hamilton said.
It remains to be seen if it will play out that way. Neither Hamilton nor Scandrick will count toward the 53-man roster while they serve their suspensions, but the Cowboys have several other young players they like in Ryan Smith, Ahmad Dixon and Tyler Patmon.
“Unfortunately for Jakar, he’s a young,
developing player. He was really doing some good things at the early part of training camp and he’s been out the last couple of weeks, so that’s hurt him,” said Cowboys coach Jason Garrett. “And obviously being suspended for four games is not good for our football team or good for his personal development. So we’ll have to make some roster decisions in and around that.”
In the meantime, Hamilton said he hoped his own experience can be a teaching tool for other young players.
“It’s just not heartbreaking for me, but a learning experience and a good opportunity to be humbled,” Hamilton said. “I’ll take this as a lesson learned, and hopefully the rest of the guys can see this in the NFL and just make the right decision.”