Johnathan Hankins becomes the latest signing for the Cowboys in free agency, and he joins a list of other in-house re-signings that keep Dallas' offseason grade hovering around an A+.
FRISCO, Texas — The good times continue to roll for the Dallas Cowboys this offseason, having balanced major splashes in free agency — e.g., trading for Stephon Gilmore and Brandin Cooks — with securing high-priority in-house free agents such as Donovan Wilson, Leighton Vander Esch and Dante Fowler. And, now, you can add Johnathan Hankins to the list.
Hankins and the Cowboys have agreed to terms on a new deal that will keep the veteran run-stopper in place to stuff the interior lanes for Dallas' defensive line — another key signing this March.
The 6-foot-3, 340-pound building of a man landed in Dallas via trade with the Las Vegas Raiders just ahead of the NFL trade deadline in 2022, and he wasted little time making his presence felt when he stepped on the field for the Cowboys.
In need of a big-body nose tackle that could devour double (and sometimes triple) teams to allow the edge rushers their meal, while also clogging the interior lanes to bolster the run defense, Hankins showed what he could be for the Cowboys defense going forward.
He was exactly what Dallas needed to help upgrade their run defense last season, to say the least.
There was also some pre-existing familiarity in this relationship, considering Hankins is a former second-round pick of the New York Giants who would often tandem with Damon "Snacks" Harrison to make life difficult for the Cowboys offense over the course of his rookie contract — from 2013 through the 2016 season.
He'd head to the Indianapolis Colts thereafter for a one-year stay before joining the Raiders, where the Cowboys sent a draft pick to acquire him.
Having seen what their run defense looks like with and without him, the Cowboys knew what needed to be done when Hankins hit free agency in March and, for the most part, they've already successfully kept their defensive band together for the 2023 season.