Dallas Cowboys' owner and general manager Jerry Jones has issued a statement concerning the release of left tackle Flozell Adams and free safety Ken Hamlin, which came, somewhat surprisingly, earlier today.
Hamlin joined the Cowboys with a one-year deal before the 2007 season. For his contribution to Dallas's 13-3 record that year, he was named a Pro Bowler for the first time. Shortly thereafter, he was rewarded with a six-year extension.
Adams was a second round draft pick in 1998, and earned five Pro Bowl appearances as a member of the Cowboys. Jones's words after the decision reflect the esteem in which his teammates and associates (though, perhaps, not always his opponents) hold him:
Having a left tackle of Flozell Adams caliber has been a luxury for the Dallas Cowboys for the past 12 years. That position (left tackle) is one of the most difficult to play and one of the three or four most important spots on an NFL roster. Throughout our entire time here with the cowboys this franchise has been blessed to first have Mark Tuinei and then be able to plug Flozell right in there as a second round pick in 1998. I have never experienced what it is like to have a team that doesn’t enjoy excellent play at the left tackle position. When we first selected Flozell, we thought we would move Larry Allen to left tackle, but that never happened because Flo was able to step right in and play at a high level very early on in his career. We just put him in there and never looked back. There are two other things that are very impressive about Flozell. Two things that a lot of people might not know. First, he cares very much about the game and has tremendous dedication to his profession. He approached every day with the Cowboys with a deep sense of personal pride in himself and the job he did. He was always prepared. Second, he is simply one of the most intelligent players we have ever had with this organization in the past 21 years. We will always be grateful for his outstanding durability, dependability and contributions to this team. I don’t know that you could ask for any more than what Flozell Adams gave to the Dallas Cowboys for 12 seasons.
Jones had kind parting words for Hamlin as well:
Ken Hamlin was a key contributor on a defensive unit that helped the Cowboys win two division championships in his three seasons with the team. He is a smart player who was valuable to us in playing the role of the quarterback in the secondary. We appreciate what he brought to this team—and this defense—as a solid player and a competitor.