By Adam Crouch |

DALLAS (105.3 THE FAN) — “I let my team down. From here on out, all I can do is to continue to work hard.”

That was the message from recently suspended Cowboys safety Jakar Hamilton, who will miss the first four games of the season for violating the league’s substance abuse policy.

Hamilton, who admits to having tested positive for an unidentified banned substance last year, says his recent violation was anything but a failed test.

“I didn’t get to the test in time,” said Hamilton. “I should have done it earlier. It is what it is.”

Hamilton, who was already in the league’s substance abuse program, says league testers were on site at Valley Ranch for OTAs; he just simply missed them.

“To be honest, I don’t know. I went in there, he wasn’t there,” said Hamilton. “From my understanding, I pretty much had enough time. Things happen.”

The second-year safety says he found out about his failed appeal of the suspension this morning from a friend, who texted him a picture from Twitter.

And while the suspension isn’t due to a failed test, he’s owning his mistake and hoping others will learn a valuable lesson.

“Lesson learned. I hope all the young players coming into the NFL really listen and take heed of what people are telling you, cause they’re cracking down on everything.”

The Cowboys cut their roster down to 75 on Wednesday. The team must trim the roster to the league-mandated 53 by Saturday afternoon.

Hamilton says he’s spoken to Jason Garrett today, but not owner Jerry Jones.

Is he worried that the suspension will leave him vulnerable to being cut?

“At the moment, I was like ‘well, there’s my career’. But God put something in everyone’s heart to let them see the type of player I was. I’ve come a long way.”

It sounds like Hamilton is safe. At least for now.

(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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