SAN ANTONIO – The Cowboys need Alan Ball to have a nose for the ball.
The primary reason Ken Hamlin got cut – well, other than his contract – is that the Cowboys want a playmaking free safety. Ball doesn’t have any career interceptions, but the Cowboys believe the converted cornerback fits the bill.
He provided some proof during Tuesday afternoon’s practice, making a great break on Jon Kitna’s throw to Patrick Crayton on a curl route and coming up with a diving interception.
“It’s just scanning the field, knowing what’s where and reading the quarterback,” Ball said. “When he threw the ball, I had a good break on the ball. I think Bradie [James] got a little tip on the ball, and I was at the right place at the right time.”
It was Ball’s second interception of camp, an encouraging sign for a defense that ranked near the bottom of team pick totals the last two seasons. Hamlin had a total of one pick in the last two seasons.
After a year of working at safety, Ball believes he can be a playmaker at the position.
“The more you get a chance to look at the quarterback, the better feel you get for where he’s going with the ball and when he’s going to deliver the ball,” Ball said. “Once you get that, you can get yourself around the ball.”