The Dallas Cowboys are gearing up for another critical game, this time a road trip to face a fired-up Buffalo Bills squad that is fighting for the playoffs. For Cowboys corner Stephon Gilmore, it is a return to the city where he spent his first five years in the league.
In the Cowboys’ impressive 33-13 win over the Philadelphia Eagles last Sunday, Gilmore was a standout performer. But as he approaches a new test against a familiar franchise, his “fire” isn’t losing heat.
“I’m just trying to prove myself … it’s just a little bit more fire I guess,” Gilmore said, before commenting on Bills QB Josh Allen. “They got Josh Allen, a great quarterback, he can throw the ball, he got a strong arm, he can run the ball. They got good receivers, so it’s going to be a big challenge for us but I think we’ll be ready.”
The Bills are coming off a major road win against the Kansas City Chiefs, helping them keep pace for an AFC Wild Card spot. But the Cowboys are also in their own playoff race. And the win against Philadelphia has only turned up the heat in the NFC.
Gilmore Set for Big ‘Payday’
As players reach their mid-30s, even great players have to take pay cuts. But considering how well Gilmore has played this year, he may have set himself up for another big deal. At least, that’s what Pro Football Focus analyst Brad Spielberger.
In a recent article, Spielberger believes that Gilmore’s potentially earning himself a $10 million a year deal. At his age, a long-term deal isn’t really an option, but his salary could still be high.
“…He hasn’t skipped a beat at any point as he’s moved around over the past few years,” the analyst explains. “Gilmore still thrives in single coverage and can jostle with the more physical receivers who play through contact, timing his leap well on contested catches and jumping routes with top-end play recognition.”
Gilmore has already matched his total of passes defended from 2022 (11,) and has two picks as well. The Cowboys gambled by picking up an aging corner, but Gilmore’s All-Pro class has shown through.
Cowboys Will Miss Veteran Starter Against Bills
While the Dallas defense has been performing at a high level, they did suffer an unfortunate loss last Sunday. Defensive tackle Johnathan Hankins suffered a high-ankle sprain against the Eagles, meaning he will miss some time.
According to NFL Network’s Ian Rapaport, the Cowboys can still expect him back by the playoffs.
“Cowboys DT Johnathan Hankins, who left tonight’s game in pain, received an initial diagnosis of high-ankle sprain, source said,” Rapoport wrote on X on December 10. “He’ll have an MRI, but it does not seem severe. Hankins should be back for the playoffs, if not sooner.”
While Hankins doesn’t get the same recognition as players like LB Micah Parsons or Gilmore, he’s started 13 games this year. Further, he totaled three sacks in the two contests before the game against Philly.
Now, the Cowboys will have to wait for the 11-season veteran to return.