IRVING, Texas - The Cowboys will be without another defensive back for the first four games.
Safety Jakar Hamilton has been suspended for the first quarter of the season for violating the NFL's substance abuse policy.
The Cowboys already will be without starting cornerback Orlando Scandrick, who was given a four-game suspension earlier this month for violating the NFL's policy as well.
While the Cowboys weren't counting on Hamilton as much as Scandrick, he still had a legitimate chance to make the team. He's only played in one preseason game this year because of a concussion that forced him out of the first game in San Diego and then a hamstring strain that kept him out last week in Miami.
On Saturday when the Cowboys trim the roster down to 53, Hamilton will go to a reserve/suspended list, along with Scandrick. That likely means a player such as Ahmad Dixon and/or rookie free agent Ryan Smith will be on the active roster for Week 1.
Dixon, a seventh-round pick from Baylor, was likely going to make the team but Smith had an outside shot as well. The Cowboys will always evaluate the players released by other teams and it's likely they could go that route for a fourth or fifth safety.
Once Hamilton serves his [embedded_ad] suspension, he could rejoin the team if the Cowboys decide to go that route. That would require the club making a spot for him on the 53-man roster.
Earlier this week, head coach Jason Garrett commented on the second-year safety when asked if his injuries have hampered his chances to make the team.
"Jakar's done a really nice job. Unfortunately, he has been banged up here the last couple weeks," Garrett said on Tuesday. "He's a guy that really, really made great strides, both as a back end 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."
As a rookie, Hamilton played in just three games in 2013, recording three tackles.