Dallas Cowboys tight end James Hanna is eligible to return against the Philadelphia Eagles at home on October 30th. The team will be off this Sunday for their bye week, and then they will have a decision to make on Hanna.
If the blocking-specialist tight end is ready to practice and play, he can begin working his way back into Scott Linehan's offense. If not, Hanna will have until the end of Week 11 to begin practicing before being forced to the injured reserve. Once practicing, the Cowboys will have three weeks to activate Hanna, or he will again have to be placed on the injured reserve list or released.
Hanna was signed to a new three year deal this off season, so not only is his status on the Cowboys safe, but the element he brings to this offense will be welcomed. Shining in 2014 as part of Dallas' rushing attack, led by DeMarco Murray, Hanna was found consistently steering defenders off the edge to allow Murray to turn the corner.
Emerging at the tight end position to help in this aspect with rookie running back Ezekiel Elliott has been second-year player Geoff Swaim. While Swaim is not nearly the blocker that Hanna is, he has helped with the Cowboys' versatility on offense as a more complete tight end. I expect Swaim to still find snaps when Hanna does return to the field along with Jason Witten.
Another tight end could be on his way out in Dallas though. A roster spot would need to be cleared to bring in Hanna, and moving on from Gavin Escobar in his final season under contract makes the most sense. Escobar has never fit in offensively with the Cowboys, but did bounce back from a late 2015 Achilles tear to show flashes in training camp - ahead of schedule with his rehab.
Even still, the athletic former second round pick has not caught a pass all season for the Cowboys. Moving on from him will merely be an admission that his draft pick was wasted, and the Cowboys can then move on with the best possible depth chart at tight end.
Ezekiel Elliott: "I have yet to show the dominance at the second level...Once that starts happening, it's going to be kind of scary.
The Cowboys running game has fueled their success once again in 2016, and the hungry rookie in Ezekiel Elliott still sees room for improvement. With James Hanna back on the field as one of his blockers, Elliott will get to the second level even easier and with more speed, allowing him to continue to eat opposing defenses.
Inside The Star will keep you updated on Hanna's practice status along with any roster moves that occur in eventually activating him.
What are you expecting from James Hanna when he is back on the field? Let us know! Comment below with your thoughts, or email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com!
BREAKING: Dallas Cowboys Sign Free Agent Safety George Iloka
The Dallas Cowboys have reached a one-year agreement with Safety George Iloka, according to ESPN's Todd Archer. Iloka spent 2018 with the Vikings after six years with the Bengals.
He's started 79 of his 99 career games since being a fifth-round pick by Cincinnati in 2012. Iloka turns 29 years old next week.
The Cowboys have agreed to a one-year deal with safety George Iloka, according to a source. Iloka met with the Cowboys on Friday and was the third safety to meet with the club during the week along with Clayton Geathers and Eric Berry. The Cowboys have... https://t.co/JB5nJLWepc
This isn't the safety that most Cowboys fans wanted. After over a year of pining for Earl Thomas, sights turned to Eric Berry after his free agent visit in Dallas last week.
However, it makes sense that Iloka would be attractive to the Cowboys. At 6'4" and 225 lbs, he fits the physical mold of what Defensive Backs Coach Kris Richard likes in his players. He also is younger than than Berry and Thomas without the same recent injury issues.
Iloka becomes one of many Boise St. products on Dallas' roster, joining Tyrone Crawford, DeMarcus Lawrence, Leighton Vander Esch, and others. He entered the league with college teammates Crawford and Kellen Moore, the Cowboys' new offensive coordinator, in 2012.
We'll have to wait and see how George Iloka fits into the current mix at safety with Jeff Heath and Xavier Woods. He spent most of 2018 as a backup with Minnesota, but Dallas will likely give him a chance to start.
BREAKING: Cowboys Sign Ex-Packers WR Randall Cobb
According to multiple sources, the Dallas Cowboys have signed former Green Bay Packers Wide Receiver Randall Cobb to a one-year deal to help bolster their depth at the WR position and potentially become Cole Beasley's replacement.
Cowboys are giving former Packers' WR Randall Cobb a one-year, $5 million deal, per source. https://t.co/8KWFPjSP8T
The Dallas Cowboys met with Randall Cobb earlier this week, but he eventually left Dallas without a contract. He must've had a change of heart or just needed time to ponder the Cowboys offer, but regardless of what transpired in that short time he is now part of America's Team.
During his time with the Packers, Cobb accumulated 470 receptions for 5,524 receiving yards and 41 touchdowns. The eight-year veteran will now be expected to replace some of Cole Beasley's production out of the slot for the Dallas Cowboys.
After years of watching Beasley as the Cowboys slot WR, it will be really interesting to see Randall Cobb in that role. He's not as quick twitched as No. 11, but can be just as dangerous due to his ability to be more of a down the field receiver. He also brings added value in the return game and could compete with Tavon Austin to become the return specialist.
This could mean the Cowboys forgo drafting a wide receiver early in the 2019 NFL Draft, but I wouldn't put it past them. Regardless of what happens, this is an excellent addition.
Welcome to Cowboys Nation Randall Cobb!
REPORT: Dallas Cowboys Re-sign Long Snapper L.P. Ladouceur
L.P. Ladouceur is returning for his 15th season as the Cowboys' long snapper. The veteran free agent was re-signed by Dalals today to a one-year deal.
Thanks to Jason Witten's one-year sabbatical with Monday Night Football, Ladouceur has now been with the Cowboys for more consecutive seasons than any current player. He just turned 38 last week, but Louis-Philippe remains one of the top long snappers in football.
The Cowboys have signed long-snapper L.P. Ladouceur to a one-year deal worth $1.03 million and $90,000 in bonus money, but he will count $735,000 against the cap. This will be Ladouceur's 15th season with the Cowboys, tying Ed "Too Tall" Jones, Mark... https://t.co/2iDsi6RX7e
Retaining Ladouceur is an underrated move for the Cowboys given their situation at kicker.
Brett Maher was only 80% accurate overall on field goals last year. The team could be considering an upgrade in free agency.
Whether they bring Maher back or try someone new, having a long snapper with Ladouceur's performance perfection will make things much easier for them.
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