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Wednesday, February 10, 2010
Should the Cowboys replace Ken Hamlin?

By Calvin Watkins

ESPN's Todd McShay says the Cowboys could pick South Florida safety Nate Allen with the 27th pick of the first round.

If that's the case, Allen would be the eventual replacement for free safety Ken Hamlin, who front office officials and scouts said had an average 2009 season.

Hamlin, who missed four games with a right high-ankle sprain, finished with 74 tackles according to the coaches film and he produced four pass breakups and zero interceptions.

When Hamlin was out, the Cowboys used Alan Ball at free safety and he received praise for his aggressivness. The best Hamlin did, at times, was line guys up.

In the regular season finale vs. the Eagles, Hamlin had four tackles and a pass breakup and in the wild card victory over the same Eagles team, Hamlin had three tackles and a pass breakup.

We're not going to talk about what happened to the Vikings.

Now, Hamlin is scheduled to make a base salary of $5.59 million in 2010. If there were a salary cap, his cap number would be $7.096 million, one of the highest on the team.

It's hard to put a rookie back there in the secondary sometimes, as the Cowboys discovered in 2008 when cornerback Mike Jenkins struggled with the first-team. But Jenkins played better his sophomore season, earning his first Pro Bowl berth, though it came after several players backed out of the game.

But if Allen is available, maybe the Cowboys should invest in a safety.