Cowboys Sign Ex-Eagles DT, First-Year Kicker to Future Contracts: Report

Justin Hamilton

Getty Justin Hamilton

Tinkering with their 90-man offseason roster, the Dallas Cowboys added two players on reserve/futures contracts.

According to NFL reporter Howard Balzer, the team on Tuesday signed defensive tackle Justin Hamilton and kicker Tristian Vizcaino.

Hamilton, you may recall, was originally brought aboard back in October, prior to Dallas’ first of two showdowns with the rival Philadelphia Eagles — his former team. He never appeared in a regular-season game for the Cowboys and was released when the club acquired defensive end Michael Bennett from the Patriots.

Hamilton (6-2, 315) entered the league in 2015 as an undrafted free agent picked up by the Buffalo Bills. He was axed at final cuts and had a cup of coffee with the Packers that same year.

He spent 2016 yo-yo-ing between the Seattle Seahawks’ taxi squad and the unemployment line. In 2017, upon joining Philly, Hamilton got his big break, elevated from the practice squad to the active roster. He made three appearances for the Eagles, logging three combined tackles and a half-sack.

The Kansas City Chiefs poached Hamilton in December 2017. He appeared in five Chiefs games (starting one) over the last two seasons before being released in August.

Hamilton played his college ball at Louisiana-Lafayette, where he was a four-year contributor, making 102 career tackles, 29 tackles for loss, and 14 sacks. He earned First Team All-Sun Belt Conference honors as a senior in 2014.

“Hamilton has the size and natural ability to make it at the next level,” his scouting profile reads. “His durability and proven track record of making plays along the line of scrimmage make him a viable NFL talent. If Juice does not hear his name on the final day of the draft, there will be a number of clubs ready to ink Hamilton to a free agent deal.”

Vizcaino is also a (slight) flash from the Cowboys’ past. The first-year pro was among three kickers who tried out for the team in December, as the clock was running out on then-struggling incumbent Brett Maher, who went 10-for-20 on field goal attempts and was dumped on Dec. 9.

The Cowboys ultimately settled on Kai Forbath as Maher’s replacement. Forbath was much more reliable, drilling all 11 FG attempts, including a 50-yarder, and ten extra-point tries across three games.

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Dallas Previously Signed Seven to Similar Pacts

After their 2019 season concluded, on Jan. 2, the Cowboys announced the signing of quarterback Clayton Thorson to a reserve/futures contract. He was among seven players and recent practice squad inhabitants to ink such deals, joining tight end Cole Hikutini, defensive end Daniel Wise, running back Jordan Chunn, cornerback D.J. White, center Marcus Henry, and wide receiver Tevin Jones.

Thorson spent the entire 2019 campaign on the Cowboys’ taxi squad after joining the team on Sept. 1. He was chosen in the fifth round of this year’s NFL draft by the Philadelphia Eagles. Thorson was waived at final cuts, having lost his roster spot to Josh McCown and Nate Sudfeld, the reserves behind franchise signal-caller Carson Wentz.

A 2018 undrafted free agent, Chunn was among a trio of RBs who helped replace Ezekiel Elliott last summer amid the two-time rushing champion’s fight for a new contract. He appeared in all four preseason games, carrying 16 times for 49 yards and adding nine receptions for 46 yards and a touchdown.

Jones was the latest addition of the bunch, joining the Cowboys on Dec. 18 after a stint with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

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Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL

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