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Jerry Jones: Cowboys DT Johnathan Hankins to miss rest of regular season

Thirty-year-old Johnathan Hankins hasn’t played more than 33 snaps in a game since joining the Cowboys in late October via a trade with Las Vegas.

But his veteran presence has been instrumental in the team shoring up a leaky run defense over the course of the past month. Hankins did not play on Thanksgiving Day due to illness, but over his last three outings, he’s helped the unit hold Dalvin Cook, Jonathan Taylor, and Dameon Pierce to 72, 82, and 78 rushing yards, respectively.

Now the D-line will have to find a way to contain Travis Etienne, Miles Sanders and Jalen Hurts, and Derrick Henry without the 320-pounder’s services.

Hankins will miss the rest of the regular season with a pectoral strain suffered in Week 14’s win over Houston. Cowboys owner Jerry Jones confirmed the news to Shan & RJ on Audacy’s 105.3 The Fan (Dallas).

“You could see Johnathan back for the playoffs,” Jones said on-air Tuesday. “He won’t be back before then.”

“John is really square and stout inside,” Dallas defensive coordinator Dan Quinn told reporters Monday afternoon. “I’ve been pleased with what I’ve seen from the defensive tackles over the last few weeks in the run game, making sure they’re square and strong, so if we do end up missing any time with him, that’ll be an important piece for us to stay really consistent with.”

The interior defensive line has been “trending in the right direction” of late, Quinn said, adding that the ten-year veteran “would be missed.”

Hankins has been credited with six tackles since joining the Cowboys, but Quinn explained that he’s been an even greater contributor in terms of his veteran leadership and technique teaching to younger players like Quinton Bohanna and Neville Gallimore.

They’ll now be among the Cowboys who are expected to pick up the slack with Hankins on the shelf temporarily.


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