The Dallas Cowboys are optimistic they can get a deal done with veteran defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins.
Hankins came over from the Las Vegas Raiders via trade last season to help bolster the Cowboys’ run defense and was able to provide that for Dallas when he was healthy. Hankins played in seven games last season with the Cowboys, including the postseason, notching 15 tackles and one sack.
Hankins, 30, remains a free agent but Cowboys owner Jerry Jones is confident they can get something done.
“We’re working to get something done there with Hankins,” Jones said on Monday while speaking to reporters. “That’s in progress. And certainly (if we could draft) a potential player that could help us, a big boy that could help us on the interior, we’ll always keep that in mind, too. … We’re going to be in good shape with what we’ll be having relative without the draft, we’ll be in good shape there.”
Hankins ‘Dragging His Feet’ on Signing: Report
It doesn’t seem like a deal for Hankins will come at a large cost. He played on a one-year deal worth just over $1.3 million last season.
One problem is that the Hankins isn’t overly concerned about signing with a team at the moment, per Brian Broaddus.
“Hankins is dragging his feet on a possible signing,” Broaddus tweeted. “Just not interested in signing right now.”
If Hankins drags his feet too long, they could look to other options, including another veteran like A’Shawn Robinson — who remains a free agent and is a capable run defender. Or the team could look to take a defensive tackle early in the draft. The Cowboys have the 26th pick and the 58th overall in the second round.
The Cowboys’ roster is in great shape but they need a run-stuffing defensive tackle to beef up their front. Dallas currently has a DT group that includes Quinton Bohanna, Neville Gallimore, Osa Odighizuwa and Chauncey Golston. They also recently moved offensive lineman Isaac Alarcon to the defensive side of the ball for tackle depth.
“Issac is a big strong and athletic player and has physical skill set to play offensive line or defensive line,” Will McClay, the Cowboys’ vice president of player personnel, told Nick Eatman of the team website. “He did some things on scout team defense toward the end of the season that opened defensive coaches eyes to give him a serious look on defense. His time working with OL will also give him an understanding about what they are trying to do to him on defense.”
Jones is Open to Any Position With Draft Picks
The Cowboys have done a solid job with their roster moves to further establish themselves as contenders after back-to-back 12-win seasons. When it comes to the draft, Jones feels good about the possibilities.
“We’ve got ourselves in real good shape to get some picks that we can play immediately,” Jones said. “That’s the goal. … I feel good that we can take any position with any pick.”
ESPN’s Mike Tannenbaum has the Cowboys taking tight end Michael Mayer out of Notre Dame in his most recent mock draft. Mel Kiper has Dallas taking defensive end Adetomiwa Adebawore out of Northwestern.