Sensabaugh is currently playing under a one-year restricted free agency contract of $1.815 million.
Hamlin produced just one between '08 and '09. It'll be a little easier for Sensabaugh to catch this year, but he also expects to be around the ball more because of his increased familiarity with the defense.
"It's a lot easier because I know how they're going to attack the position," Sensabaugh said. "Last year I was playing everything so honest because I really didn't know how they attacked 3-4 safeties. ... They try to isolate you with running backs that are like receivers, place tight ends on you.
"I felt like I did really good, but this year I know a lot more about what to expect and hopefully I can make a lot more plays."
The Cowboys' safeties are mostly interchangeable, but this year more so than last, Sensabaugh could take on duties typically reserved for a free safety. In some first- and second-down situations, when there is still a threat of run, Ball will move into the slot to cover a third wide receiver. Sensabaugh will then play the back zone, keeping the ball in front of him and breaking on it when it comes to his area, something Hamlin was rarely able to do. Coaches do like Sensabaugh's range and ability to get to the ball.
Defenders who are at ease with their responsibilities and role are more apt to make plays, and safeties coach Brett Maxie says he's seeing that from Sensabaugh.
"He's certainly more confident," Maxie said. "It's always an adjustment coming from another team and kind of worrying about how you're going to be welcomed. Once Ken left he took on that responsibility of a leader. It just kind of happened naturally. Fortunately for us we were able to get him when we did, not knowing what was going to happen (to Hamlin) the way it happened. With Alan Ball having to step up, it was good for Gerald to take on that leadership role."
The important thing is for Sensabaugh's eventual raise to make him comfortable, but not too comfortable. Only then will the Cowboys' recurring case of buyer's remorse at the safety position be forgotten.