The latest Dallas Cowboys news reveals the team is preparing to be without starting defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins. It is not all bad news for Hankins as the defender is dealing with a high-ankle sprain the Cowboys are describing as “minor.”
Yet, Hankins could still miss some time. NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport reported that Hankins is expected to return in time for the playoffs “if not sooner.”
“Cowboys DT Johnathan Hankins, who left tonight’s game in pain, received an initial diagnosis of high-ankle sprain, source said,” Rapoport detailed on December 10. “He’ll have an MRI, but it does not seem severe. Hankins should be back for the playoffs, if not sooner.”
Cowboys Rumors: Carl Davis Is Expected to Be Leaned on If Johnathan Hankins Misses Time
If Hankins is sidelined, all signs point to the Cowboys addressing the issue internally. Carl Davis is a player from the practice squad that is expected to be utilized if Hankins misses games.
“A lot of mention today from the #DallasCowboys coaches about practice squad DT Carl Davis in the aftermath of the Johnathan Hankins high ankle sprain,” DallasCowboys.com’s Nick Harris detailed with a December 11 message on X. “Davis, an eight-year veteran at 6-foot-5, 335 pounds, is a name to watch for elevation this week ahead of the Buffalo game.”
Johnathan Hankins Has Been a Key Part of the Dallas Cowboys’ Improved Run Defense
The Dallas defense has improved in stopping the run and Hankins has been a key part of this growth. Dallas acquired Hankins in a trade with the Raiders in October 2022 ahead of last season’s trade deadline.
Heading into Week 15, the Cowboys rank 13th in the league allowing 106 rushing yards per game. This is much improved from a Dallas defense that was near the bottom of the NFL when it came to stopping the run in 2022.
Cowboys News: Mazi Smith Could See an Increase in Snaps
Hankins started all 13 games for Dallas prior to the ankle injury. The defender posted 26 tackles, 3 sacks, 3 quarterback hits and 2 pass deflections this season.
Hankins’ injury likely also provides additional opportunities for rookie Mazi Smith. Head coach Mike McCarthy believes Smith has improved since his slow start to the season.
“Mike McCarthy didn’t have a timeline on Johnathan Hankins return from ankle sprain,” ESPN’s Todd Archer detailed on X on December 11. “He likes Mazi Smith’s development so far. Said Smith is no longer thinking, just playing.”
Dak Prescott Believes the Dallas Cowboys Should Have Scored 50 Points Against the Philadelphia Eagles
It may have been a statement win for the Cowboys against the Eagles, but Dak Prescott still sees holes with his performance. The Dallas quarterback believes the offense should have scored 50 points against Philly.
“As I talked about my performance tonight, as I said, yeah, I was good enough to win, but I hold myself to super high standards,” Prescott told reporters on December 10. “And yeah, if I play my best game we’re putting up 50 out there. And so, that’s not going to change, and I’m going to keep pushing for that. That’s the work that I put into this thing. That’s the preparation that I do.”