Roster building is a 24/7/365 job. Due to injuries, suspensions, and lack of talent at a few positions, there are a some free agents still out there that could help the Dallas Cowboys. With just a month to go before the season kicks off, if the Cowboys want to add a free agent to their roster, and have them ready for the regular season, they better pick up the pace.
Johnathan Hankins - DT - 6’3” 320-lbs
The Cowboys have plenty of bodies at defensive tackle, but none of them other than Antwaun Woods has yet to stand out on a consistent basis so far in training camp. With Maliek Collins sidelined to injury, and David Irving suspended and yet to show up to camp, the Cowboys have relied heavily on Datone Jones and Jihad Ward to hold down the fort until the starters return.
Some team is going to get a very good run defender in Johnathan Hankins and a top 25 DT in the NFL. pic.twitter.com/KYkjfsqj8K— Brandon Thorn (@VeteranScout) March 17, 2018
Unfortunately, the word out of Oxnard is that the defensive tackles have struggled so far in training camp. Johnathan Hankins could step in right away and be an upgrade on the interior of the defensive line. Hankins is 26 years old, and has stayed relatively healthy throughout his five-year career. Many thought that Hankins has regressed since his dominant times as a member of the New York Giants, but that is not the case. Hankins was still a dominant force in the middle of the Indianapolis Colts defensive line in 2017, and was released due to not fitting in former-Cowboys assistant Matt Eberflus’ scheme. The Cowboys desperately need an upgrade on the interior of the defensive line and while Hankins would likely cost you a little bit of money, you wouldn’t have to trade any assets to get him. It’s true that Rod Marinelli generally prefers smaller, up-the-field type players on the line, but having a big body to help stuff the run shouldn’t be overlooked. Especially given how soft the Cowboys were against the run last season.
Brent Celek - TE - 6’4” 261-lbs
Trust me, I cringed as I typed this name out as well, but the truth is, if he’s interested in still playing Brent Celek could help this football team. Celek, an 11-year veteran, was released by the Eagles after playing all 11 seasons with the team. Celek was a decent weapon as a receiver, but also served his former team well as a blocking tight end, and that’s exactly why the Cowboys should pick up the phone and give him a call.
Similar to the defensive tackles, the word out of Oxnard is that the Cowboys’ tight ends have struggled with blocking so far throughout camp. In Scott Linehan’s offense, having a good blocking tight end is key in order to have success running the football. The Cowboys currently have four tight ends competing for the 53-man roster, Blake Jarwin, Geoff Swaim, Dalton Schultz, and Rico Gathers. Out of the four guys listed, only two of them are useful as blockers, and one of them is a rookie. Brent Celek would come in and instantly be an option as an inline blocker. Would he come in an make a huge difference as a receiver? Probably not, but his career stats would certainly make the tight end room look a lot better. Plus, his experience could be invaluable to young group of tight ends.
There aren’t many holes in the Cowboys roster, but the interior defensive line and reliable blocking tight end are two glaring ones. Through three weeks of training camp, the narrative has yet to change. The Cowboys need help at defensive tackle, and the Cowboys tight ends are struggling blocking against the Cowboys defense. There are a few other interesting names on the market, so if you have a different player in mind, let us know.