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Cowboys countdown to kickoff: #95 Johnathan Hankins

The count is officially on as the Dallas Cowboys get set to face the New York Giants for Week 1. Everyday we give you a player profile for each player represented by his jersey number.

Indianapolis Colts v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Cooper Neill/Getty Images

We’re continuing our countdown to the opening game of the Dallas Cowboys 2023 regular season. Each day we’ll present a new player whose jersey number represents the countdown to opening day. Today is number 95.

NT Johnathan Hankins
Born: 30th March 1992 (31) - Dearborn Heights, Michigan
College: Ohio State Buckeyes
Draft: 2013, Round 2, Pick 49, New York Giants

2022 Stats: (Dallas only)
Snaps: 170
Tackles: 10
Pressures: 5
Sacks: 1
TFL: 1
Defensive Stops: 11
Penalties: 0

Johnathan Hankins started his collegiate career at Ohio State as a rotational player. Deemed role-specific due to his size and weight, he then lost weight the following season and sealed a starting role. His sophomore season was truly his best and solidified his name as a defensive talent to watch. By the time he declared for the draft after his junior year, he being was touted by some analysts as a first-round prospect.

Cowboys Review:
In the 2022 season, Dallas had a massive problem on defense in stopping the run and something needed to be done to plug the hole. By October. the call was made and Dallas sent a sixth-round pick to the Las Vegas Raiders in exchange for Johnathan Hankins. The results were seen on the field very quickly and his ability to anchor in the middle as a run-stuffing nose tackle was a good solution. His effectiveness in his role was so great that when he got injured and was placed on IR in December, every player, coach and fan felt this was a big loss for the season. His reactivation for playoffs was a huge lift to the team and because of his abilities the Cowboys re-signed Hankins in the offseason.

2023 Roster Projection:
The production for Hankins is hard to quantify and isn’t something you find on a stat sheet, but his ability in helping keep players clean like Leighton Vander Esch means he will continue his role on defense and rotate with Mazi Smith in Dan Quinn’s defensive line system. His age is something to keep an eye on this year. Hankins, Smith and Quinton Bohanna will be a fun and exciting battle to watch during camp and preseason. Hankins’ experience and proven record of what he can do for the Cowboys defense is a positive reason for him to be a major piece of a formidable Cowboys defensive line.

Projected 2023 stats:
Snaps: 300
Tackles: 31
Pressures: 22
Sacks: 0.5
TFL: 17
Defensive stops: 25

The big question:
How much will Hankins play in the rotation with Mazi Smith on the roster? Let us know in the comments

Chicago Bears v Dallas Cowboys Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

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