The final piece of the free agency puzzle has been placed.
Dallas’ front office somehow found a way to address many of the concerns going into the offseason. Who will be the next playmaker on offense? Who will start opposite Trevon Diggs? Who will fill in for Connor McGovern? Who will be the backup quarterback?
Let’s just bring in Brandin Cooks, Stephon Gilmore, Chuma Edoga and retain the real red rifle, Cooper Rush.
The last question was, who would replace the production of Johnathan Hankins as the big-bodied defensive tackle? Well, there’s no need to look for anyone other than Hankins himself.
It took a while, but on Wednesday, Dallas and Hankins agreed to a one-year contract worth about $1.5 million.
Cowboys are re-signing NT Johnathan Hankins to a one-year contract, person familiar with agreement said. Deal is worth about $1.5M.— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) March 29, 2023
Before the trade deadline in 2022, the Cowboys needed to get better at stopping the run and give Dan Quinn another player for the middle of his defense. The front office decided to trade for Hankins from the Las Vegas Raiders in exchange for a 2023 sixth-round pick (Dallas currently has a sixth thanks to receiving a compensatory one).
Hankins’s impact was felt immediately as Dallas’ rushing defense improved. The entire unit performed better with big No. 95 in the lineup. Even linebacker Leighton Vander Esch showed flashes of his Pro Bowl season as a rookie.
With the Cowboys signing Hankins and the rest of their free agents, Dallas can enter the draft process knowing they can take the best player available, regardless of the position. This has indeed been one of the most impressive offseasons for the Cowboys in recent memory.