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News: ESPN: On Hambrick's Release

Discussion in 'News Zone' started by Hostile, May 13, 2004.

  1. Hostile

    Hostile Tacos are a good investment Zone Supporter

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    By Len Pasquarelli
    ESPN.com

    Starting tailback Troy Hambrick, scheduled to be replaced in the Dallas Cowboys lineup by rookie Julius Jones, was released Thursday afternoon.



    Hambrick


    Hambrick recently re-signed with the Cowboys, a one-year deal worth $628,000, in hopes of facilitating a trade.


    Dallas will recoup the $628,000 on its 2004 salary cap and, since there was no signing bonus, will not have to carry any ancillary charges against the spending limit.


    Hambrick, 27, assumed the No. 1 tailback job last summer after the Cowboys released all-time NFL rushing leader Emmitt Smith for salary cap reasons. The former Savannah State standout started all 16 games in 2003, carrying 275 times for 972 yards and five touchdowns, and catching 17 passes for 99 yards.


    But his 3.5-yard average was one of the lowest among NFL rushers with more than 800 yards, and Hambrick had just three outings in which he produced 100 yards, and posted only three rushes of more than 20 yards. In nine games, Hambrick averaged fewer than three yards per attempt.


    Hambrick was absent from the team's offseason conditioning program this week and that likely hastened his departure. He also told agent Jordan Woy he no longer felt part of the Dallas organization. In a Thursday morning phone call to team officials, Woy informed them of his client's sentiments.


    "Whether (his feelings) were real or perceived, I don't know, but it seemed like the best thing for everyone concerned was a clean break," Woy said.


    Coach Bill Parcells and general manager Jerry Jones made no secret of the fact that one of their top offseason priorities was to upgrade the rushing attack and they feel that they accomplished that with the choice of Jones in the second round. The former Notre Dame star possesses the kind of explosive playmaking skills Parcells covets and the Cowboys were content in the draft to trade out of the first round entirely, confident that Jones was going to be available to them in the second stanza.


    Jones was said to have made a solid impression at the team's recent mini-camp.


    Parcells apprised Hambrick before the draft that the Cowboys intended to invest a high-round choice on a tailback and further told the three-year veteran that, if that occurred, he would attempt to find a better situation for him somewhere in the league. Apparently, the Cowboys were unable to generate interest in Hambrick in trade discussions, and opted to release him now so that he might have time to land a job elsewhere before training camps open around the league in late July.


    Hambrick will be subject to league waivers and, given his starting experience, it will not be surprising if several teams submit claims on him.


    For his career, Hambrick has rushed for 1,896 yards and eight touchdowns on 473 carries and has 42 receptions for 260 yards and no touchdowns.


    Len Pasquarelli is a senior writer for ESPN.com.
  2. Hostile

    Hostile Tacos are a good investment Zone Supporter

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    Backfield In Motion


    Nick Eatman
    DallasCowboys.com Staff Writer
    May 13, 2004, 3:20 p.m. (CDT)

    IRVING, Texas - If there was even the slightest doubt the Cowboys would have a new starting running back next season, it became official Thursday.

    The Cowboys outright released running back Troy Hambrick, who started all 16 games last season, but attracted no interest in the trade market over the past month.

    Hambrick proved he was not the answer to replacing Emmitt Smith, not only rushing for just 972 yards last season, but averaging just 3.5 yards per carry.

    And that led to the Cowboys using a second-round pick in last month's NFL Draft on Notre Dame running back Julius Jones, the next heir apparent to the job Smith owned for 13 seasons.

    This move comes as no surprise after Cowboys head coach Bill Parcells said on April 30 the team had informed Hambrick there was a good chance he would be traded or simply released once it became apparent the running back chores would fall on the shoulders of Jones and possibly even Richie Anderson.

    "I told Troy I wanted to be fair with him," Parcells said two weeks ago. "I had a meeting with Troy. I told him if we drafted a front-line runner then we might consider doing something with him. He knew that in advance. We sat down and talked about it. I told him also if I could find a spot that is better for him then we would do that. We got to a point where we decided not to do it then I go by what I see how he performs when he comes in. Troy's been in all season. He's been working pretty good, to his credit. He's got to do that. He knows that. So that would just be down the road."

    So cutting Hambrick should pave the way for Jones to receive ample opportunity to win the starter's job during training camp and preseason games. Jones will be considered the frontrunner to win the starting job, with Aveion Cason, Erik Bickerstaff and ReShard Lee the only other true running backs on the roster. The Cowboys will also use Anderson to carry the ball, Parcells saying he will consider 11-year veteran fullback more of a multi-purpose back and likely full-time third-down back. Hambrick's Career Totals
    Year Att. Yds Avg. Long TD

    2000 6 28 4.7 13 0
    2001 113 579 5.1 80 2
    2002 79 317 4.0 18 1
    2003 275 972 3.5 42 5

    And any possibility of Hambrick becoming a backup fullback probably was eliminated when the Cowboys traded for Tampa Bay fullback Darian Barnes and signed rookie free-agent fullback Lousaka Polite for Pittsburgh.

    As for Hambrick, he might have a few options available. Several teams have yet to solidify their running back positions. It has been reported Denver and Oakland could be interested in acquiring Hambrick, although at this point teams don't seem to be rushing to knock down his door.

    His release ends an interesting four years in Dallas, three of those spent sitting behind Smith, although the final two not so quietly.

    The outspoken Hambrick, younger brother of former Cowboys linebacker Darren Hambrick, had trouble taking a backseat to the aging Smith, despite his run for the record books. Even during the 2002 season Smith surpassed Walter Payton as the NFL's all-time leading rusher, Hambrick often sounded off, stating his case for more carries and even made an argument for starting ahead of Smith.

    Hambrick finally got his wish in 2003 when the Cowboys released Smith, who eventually signed a two-year deal with Arizona. The Cowboys seemed intent on finding out about Hambrick, not selecting a running back in the draft nor signing a veteran free agent.

    So the job went to Hambrick without much competition. But it didn't take long for Hambrick to show he wasn't capable of replacing a legend, much less of handling the full-time ball-carrying duties.

    Having to carry the whole load for the first time in his career, Hambrick struggled with the role as the every-down back. He often lacked the quickness to hit the hole and he rarely made defenders miss in the open field.

    While he showed a few flashes, including an 189-yard rushing performance (third-most in club history) against the Redskins, Hambrick was a non-factor in too many games last season. Hambrick failed to rush for more than 45 yards in six of the final eight games, and that included a two-yard performance on three carries in a Thanksgiving Day loss to the Dolphins.

    Hambrick barely resembled the backup back of 2001, when he averaged seven carries a game and 5.1 yards a carry splitting time at running back with Smith and starting nine games at fullback. Hambrick returned as the backup tailback in 2002, but his numbers declined, as did Smith's, in a dismal, injury-riddled season the Cowboys were forced to use 10 different starting combinations on the offensive line.

    But as the Cowboys improved under Parcells last season, making the playoffs for the first time since 1999 with that 10-6 record, they did so without a consistent running game.

    Despite getting more than half of the team's carries, Hambrick produced only two of the Cowboys' five-longest runs from scrimmage. A 47-yard jaunt late in the fourth quarter against Washington and a 31-yard touchdown run against the Jets were the only two breakaway runs Hambrick had last year while leading the team with five rushing touchdowns.

    So it seemed apparent the Cowboys would address the running back position in either free agency or the draft this off-season. While they passed on veterans such as Duce Staley and Charlie Garner, they also caused quite a stir on draft day, passing up on both Steven Jackson and Kevin Jones to complete a trade with Buffalo for a second and fifth-round pick that day and the all-important first-rounder next year.

    With Buffalo's second-round choice, the Cowboys selected Jones, the back who seemed to have caught Parcells' eye from the beginning.

    Although Jones will be a year removed from Smith's final days in Dallas, the comparisons already have heated up - from their stature, bulky upper bodies and even the No. 22 both wore in college. Jones, though, will not wear Smith's No. 22 in Dallas, and he certainly has a few thousand yards to gain before the comparisons to Smith go any further.

    And as difficult a task as that will be for Jones, knowing he must make people forget Emmitt Smith, he likely will be the next guy with the opportunity.

    The same one Hambrick always wanted.
  3. Reef Engineer

    Reef Engineer New Member

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    Wow - I'm a bit surprised at this. I would think that BP would like to have some options going into TC rather than simply handing the job over to JJ. Worse case scenario - JJ gets hurt - then what? We have AC that can help with the burden but who else that's proven? Ouch.

    If nothing else, I liked TH's blocking ability ... and his motor mouth made for good discussion.
  4. Hostile

    Hostile Tacos are a good investment Zone Supporter

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    I have a feeling he asked for this.
  5. cowboyfan4life_mark

    cowboyfan4life_mark 5 outta 8 ain't bad

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    This is why I don't take "a few days off" from this board, you never know when info comes out. And as usual, this is the first I read about it.
    Thanks for the post Hos.
  6. Derinyar

    Derinyar Well-Known Member

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    No more Hambricks on the team? Who shall the media go to for uselessly stupid comments now.
  7. trickblue

    trickblue Old Testament... Zone Supporter

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    Not showing up for the conditioning program this week says one of two things... he is either an idiot... or he wanted to force BP to release him...

    I vote for both...
  8. da_boyz_mk

    da_boyz_mk How 'Bout Dem Cowboys

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    ask and ye shall receive.

    [IMG]
  9. ArkCowboy

    ArkCowboy New Member

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    the overall character of the team just went up 2 fold!
    great move! if need be RA can be TB, but this makes me think a 6/1 cap cut RB will likely be brought in!
  10. Cowboysguy

    Cowboysguy New Member

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  11. trickblue

    trickblue Old Testament... Zone Supporter

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    The end of an error... I mean era... [IMG]
  12. da_boyz_mk

    da_boyz_mk How 'Bout Dem Cowboys

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    pretty cool site man!

    [IMG]
  13. Nors

    Nors Benched

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    Cowboys | Hambrick Released - from www.KFFL.com
    Thu, 13 May 2004 14:37:30 -0700

    Updating a previous report, the Dallas Cowboys have officially released RB Troy Hambrick.


    WoW - Guess he didn't want to be here. Will he get signed? Probably not.
  14. trickblue

    trickblue Old Testament... Zone Supporter

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    [IMG] good times...
  15. TheHustler

    TheHustler Active Member

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    hope we never get another one.
  16. da_boyz_mk

    da_boyz_mk How 'Bout Dem Cowboys

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    i'll bet you hambrick tripped and fell on his way out of valley ranch

    [IMG]
  17. ArkCowboy

    ArkCowboy New Member

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    Cowboys: Hambrick to be released
    by Fanball Staff - Fanball.com
    Thursday, May 13, 2004

    News
    The Cowboys informed running back Troy Hambrick on Thursday that he will be released. The move will become official later on Thursday afternoon, according to the team's official web site. Hambrick led the Cowboys with 972 rushing yards and five rushing touchdowns in 2003. The 27-year-old has spent the last four seasons with the Cowboys. The franchise drafted Notre Dame running back Julius Jones in the second round of the April draft, and Jones is expected to be the starter in the 2004 season.

    Views
    Hambrick was last seen running very slowly away from the Cowboys' training facility. He then ducked out of bounds to avoid taking hits from oncoming reporters. Hambrick's release further solidifies Jones' place atop the depth chart, as the Cowboys certainly won't use Aveion Cason or Richie Anderson as their feature back. Some team will almost certainly sign Hambrick during the summer, but like free agents Stacey Mack, Antowain Smith, and James Stewart, we doubt that Troy will see a starting job again any time soon
  18. Nav22

    Nav22 Well-Known Member

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    Good riddance! I've never liked Hambrick one bit.

    Cried all year during Emmitt's record-breaking season for more carries, then replaced Emmitt the following year with a much healthier O-line and still got fewer yards than Emmitt did in 2002. L-O-S-E-R.

    Emmitt must be laughing his a$s off right now, like I am!
  19. IndianaCowboyFan

    IndianaCowboyFan The Bullet

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    "Hambrick failed to rush for more than 45 yards in six of the final eight games"

    Wow, is that sad or what? I believe he needed a chance but I never expected this poor a performance. How many yards in the 6 games, where he was less than 45 yards, was he alot less? I would be VERY EMBARRASSED.
  20. da_boyz_mk

    da_boyz_mk How 'Bout Dem Cowboys

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    that stat is unbelievable

    [IMG]

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