Cowboys Fans Blast Jerry Jones After Former Starter Leaves on Cheap Deal

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones

Getty Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones

The Dallas Cowboys have let quite a few players walk in free agency, but new contract details of a recent departure aren’t making fans happy. Sometimes a team can’t afford to bring a player back, but in former Cowboys DT Johnathan Hankins’ case, it was clearly a situation where they just didn’t want him around.

On March 25, ESPN reporter Brady Henderson reported the details of Hankins’ new deal with the Seattle Seahawks. Hankins isn’t being paid much more than the league minimum.

“The Seahawks’ deal with DT Johnathan Hankins is for one year and $2.05M with $300K guaranteed, a source tells me,” Henderson wrote on X. “Hankins got a $300K signing bonus, a $1.24M base salary and $510K in per-game bonuses.”

After that info was released, the immediate response from Cowboys fans was not positive. But then the report that 2023 first-round pick DT Mazi Smith would miss 4-6 months to recover from shoulder surgery, and it led to an even louder response from the Dallas fanbase.

“And Mazi is INJURED??? They KNEW this?? This guy who needs to make the big leap from season 1 to 2 is going to miss OTAs and mini-camp but no, we couldn’t go get DJ Reader or Jonathan freaking Hankins. I can’t with these Jones apologists,” Cowboys fan @IntheClutch75 wrote on X.

Media, Fans Pile on Jerry Jones

Now that the Cowboys have a depth issue at DT, letting Hankins walk is only creating more chatter. For Blogging the Boys’ RJ Ochoa, there is no question that this is a blunder.

“The Dallas Cowboys do not deserve to be an NFL team,” Ochoa wrote on X.

Meanwhile, 97.1 The Freak host Kevin Gray Jr. doesn’t believe that the Cowboys were “priced out” on Hankins.

“Cowboys are down bad, they couldn’t afford this for Johnathan Hankins GTFOH #DallasCowboys,” Gray wrote on March 25.

Not everyone believes that the Cowboys made a mistake. Ochoa’s coworker, Blogging the Boys writer Dan Rogers, brought up the counterpoint that new defensive coordinator Mike Zimmer just didn’t want him in his system.

“Everyone seems so annoyed that Jerry wouldn’t pony up for Hankins. I love Big Hank. I would’ve brought him back,” Rogers wrote. “But the thing people are missing is that if Mike Zimmer wanted Hankins for his defense, the Cowboys would’ve re-signed him. That tells us all we need to know.”

Cowboys DT Undergoes Major Surgery

As mentioned above, Mazi Smith will be rehabbing for the next few months after shoulder surgery. He’s not alone, as Cowboys TE and 2023 second-round pick Luke Schoonmaker also had a shoulder operation and will also miss OTAs and minicamp.

Dallas head coach Mike McCarthy spoke on the situation, and backed Smith to have a big second season.

“Mazi had shoulder surgery,” McCarthy said. “He’s going through a rehab phase right now. He’s definitely one of the guys that needs to take that big second-year jump, and I think he’ll do that.”

For context, Smith only totaled 13 tackles and 1 sack in the 2023 campaign. He only played 28% of the team’s defensive snaps despite appearing in all 17 regular-season games.