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Is TE James Hanna’s Career With The Cowboys Coming To An End?

Brian Martin

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James Hanna

With about three weeks until the start of free agency (March 9), teams around the NFL are starting to make changes to their rosters in what they hope is for the betterment of their team. These moves are made for a number of reasons and you can bet that the Dallas Cowboys are discussing things internally about what they want to do with some of their players. One player that could see his time in Dallas coming to an end is tight end James Hanna.

Is TE James Hanna's Career With The Cowboys Coming To An End? 1James Hanna was drafted in the sixth round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Dallas Cowboys and has developed into a pretty solid #2 behind Jason Witten. The Cowboys valued his contributions to the team so much that they signed him to a 3-year $8.25 million contract extension in March of 2016.

Had the Cowboys known then what they know now, they likely wouldn't have signed Hanna to a contract extension last year. This is especially true considering the fact he missed the entire 2016 season and his future in the NFL and with the Cowboys could be in jeopardy.

You may have forgotten, but let me try and refresh your memory.

Hanna entered training camp last season complaining of soreness in his knee. The Cowboys initially diagnosed the problem as a bone bruise, but the injury ended up being more serious than expected.

Hanna ultimately had to have knee surgery not once, but twice in 2016. To make matters worse, there hasn't been any news that would suggest he will even be ready to participate in training camp.

James Hanna's knee injuries isn't the first time the Dallas Cowboys have found themselves in a situation like this. In fact, Anthony Spencer went through nearly the exact situation and unfortunately for him it pretty much ended his career.

Spencer was never quite the same after his knee surgeries and it's really starting to look like Hanna could be following the same career path.

Is TE James Hanna's Career With The Cowboys Coming To An End?This would truly be unfortunate, because James Hanna was a valued member of the Cowboys offense. He may have never developed into a starting TE, but he provided valuable depth behind Jason Witten and contributed on nearly all of the special teams units.

Now, I don't expect the Cowboys to release him anytime soon. I think they will wait and see what he looks like in off-season workouts before making a decision. But, if he's not ready to go by training camp, they could release him with an injury settlement and create $2.3 million cap space in 2017.

If the Dallas Cowboys have any concerns about James Hanna's future with the organization, then we will likely see them address this position in the 2017 NFL Draft. Fortunately, the 2017 draft class is pretty deep at the TE position.

Are you concerned about James Hanna's availability for the 2017 season?

Let me hear what you think in the comment section below.



Level C2/C3 quadriplegic. College graduate with a bachelors degree in sports and health sciences-concentration sports management. Sports enthusiast. Dallas Cowboys fanatic. Lover of life with a glass half-full point of view.

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5 Comments
  • Don

    I’m sorry Brian but I have to send him packing and take Escobar with him. Hanna has shown flashes but nothing consistent in my book. If this draft is deep in TE’s then get ya one and hopefully one that will develop fast. Witten needs a complimentary partner and we all know he is headed toward the end of his career.

    • Brian Martin

      Don, I don’t disagree with you. Hanna will probably never be a starting TE, but he was a good backup player. He plays on all special teams units and is really underrated for what he does in the running game with his blocking capabilities. But, if he’s not healthy, then it’s time to move on and find Jason Witten’s successor.

      • Don

        Yes his run blocking and special team skills kept him a job but 2 knee surgeries last year probably throws out a big red flag. I don’t see him wearing the Star this season.

        • Brian Martin

          If he is healthy by training camp I think he sticks around. If not, his career in the NFL could possibly be over.

  • rick fedorick

    Hannah was the blocking te for Murray in his 1,800 yard season and I just read hes feeling very good. He had 12 starts that year. Last year we lost Swaim as well and managed to get Elliott over 1,600 with the smallish te Escobar. To think of a new right tackle in Collins along with Hannahs return?…… Elliott is in for even bigger things in 17.

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Maliek Collins Playing Excellent for Cowboys Defense

John Williams

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Maliek Collins

For the Dallas Cowboys on the interior, a lot of the news consistently surround the availability of Defensive Tackle David Irving, but Maliek Collins is playing excellent right now. While I'm willing to be very patient with Irving because of the elite talent he brings, Maliek Collins should continue to start for the Dallas Cowboys at 3-technique defensive tackle.

Collins has been a player that the Cowboys have bounced between the nose tackle and the 3T position with the hopes of getting their best players on the field, and because of the lack of a consistent presence at the 1-technique or nose tackle position. Well, with Antwaun Woods taking control at the 1T, Collins has been able to play at the position where he's at his best. The 3-tech.

He hasn't put huge numbers in the sack column this season, but that doesn't mean he's been absent from being the disruptive player he's been through his first two and a half seasons.

During the Dallas Cowboys five game winning streak, Maliek Collins has led the Dallas Cowboys defensive tackles in total pressures with 13, according to Pro Football Focus. PFF combines sacks, quarterback hits, and hurries into their "pressures." Collins hasn't recorded a sack during the winning streak, but he has four quarterback hits and nine hurries. He's tied with Tyrone Crawford for third in total pressures behind DeMarcus Lawrence and Randy Gregory over the last five weeks.

Over the last five weeks, Collins leads the defensive tackles in solo tackles with five and is tied with Crawford and Antwaun Woods with three run stops on defense, according to Pro Football Focus. Collins has also has two tackles for loss in the last five games and recovered Tyrone Crawford's force fumble on Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles.

Collins had six sacks in his rookie season when he played primarily as the 3T, which allowed him to see more one-on-one blocks against opposing interior offensive linemen. Especially with the way the rest of the defensive line is playing.

With the Cowboys on the road to face the Indianapolis Colts this week, Collins is going to have a tough matchup with a very good Colts offensive line, in particular, rookie Quentin Nelson. Collins ability to get pressure on Andrew Luck on the interior is a huge key for the Dallas Cowboys this week. We know that Gregory and Lawrence will get their pressures, but if Andrew Luck is able to step up into a clean pocket, it will make for a much more challenging game for the Cowboys secondary.

Collins has proved to be up to any task over the last five weeks and if he's able to keep playing at such a high level, he'll make the Cowboys coaching staff, and the rest of Cowboys Nation forget about using other defensive tackles. For the Cowboys to make a deep push in the playoffs, they'll need Collins to be a big time player for them moving forward.



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Amari Cooper Wins 2nd NFC Offensive Player of the Week Award of 2018

Jess Haynie

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Amari Cooper

For the second time in just three weeks, Dallas Cowboys receiver Amari Cooper has been named the NFC Offensive Player of the Week.

Cooper scored three touchdowns, including the game winner in overtime, to lead the Cowboys to victory last Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles. He has 10 catches for 217 yards, which led all NFL receivers last week.

Dallas Cowboys on Twitter

After his record-setting performance during week 14, @AmariCooper9 is the FIRST #DallasCowboys to win NFC Player of the Week twice in a season! → https://t.co/kvBDIeOgBd #ProBowlVote #ProBowlVote #ProBowlVote #ProBowlVote #ProBowlVote #ProBowlVote

As the official website stated, Cooper is the first Cowboy to win the award twice in the same year. He's also the first Cowboy to be named Offensive Player of the Week since Ezekiel Elliott in 2016.

Before this year, Elliott was the only Dallas player to win the Offensive award in three seasons. Cooper has now done it twice in three weeks.

Since being traded to the Cowboys, Amari Cooper has amassed 40 catches for 642 yards and six touchdowns.

His wasted time in Oakland may keep Cooper out of the Pro Bowl this year, but he's already become a fan favorite in Cowboys Nation. Congratulations to Amari for another well-deserved award!



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David Irving Out Again for Cowboys, Does Defense Need Him?

Sean Martin

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David Irving Out Again for Cowboys, Does Defense Need Him?

Dallas Cowboys Defensive Tackle David Irving, once a key member of the team's defense, will not make his return after all against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday. For the second straight week, Irving was reportedly trending towards suiting up before being ruled out. The Cowboys haven't missed his unique presence for 13 weeks (playing against the Jaguars and Redskins), including through an ongoing four game win streak that began with a win against these Eagles on the road.

In that road win, veteran Tyrone Crawford recorded a sack and three tackles, while Antwaun Woods added two for a Dallas defense that held Philadelphia to 23 first downs and 71 rushing yards. The Eagles managed to cross the Cowboys' 30-yard line just four times.

There are many scenarios in which the Cowboys could have cut ties with Irving for not being worth the off-field trouble he's caused - beginning the season with a four game suspension. The absolute best case scenario is what they've realized amidst this turnaround, with other defensive linemen taking advantage of the opportunity left behind by Irving.

While it can still be true that Irving would make more splash plays than the likes of Crawford, Woods, Maliek Collins, and Caraun Reid, this defensive tackle group deserves praise for their ability to step in. Pass rush ability is one thing teams can't have enough of, and the Cowboys are missing some with Irving, finding ways to win thanks to the other traits these defenders bring to the table.

Cowboys Passing Game Coordinator Kris Richard may effectively be the team's defensive coordinator with an emphasis on the back seven, but DC Rod Marinelli's impact is still felt - particularly up front. Regardless of where they're lined up and deployed, the Cowboys front four is expected to be disruptive on every snap, something this scrappy unit excels at.

Prepared once again to play on the edge this season, Crawford is thriving at his original position of 3T-DT. Crawford has two sacks, nine total tackles, and three other hits on the quarterback over the past four weeks. Leading by example with a relentless spirit on every play, Crawford has meant just as much to the Cowboys defensive ends as Irving could.

In a short period of time, the Cowboys have gone from building up Irving thanks to his transcendent ability to make those around him better to simply -- and importantly -- being better across the defense.

Led by DeMarcus Lawrence as their premier rusher, the Cowboys defensive line is a lot for opposing offenses to contain. The "Hot Boyz" work up front has allowed Linebackers Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch to play fast and make plays all over the field.

Maliek Collins, battling back from his second broken foot in three years, is proving again he's a patented Marinelli guy. Collins' play speaks for itself when considering if the Nebraska product is best as a 3T or 1T tackle. Wherever he's asked to play, Collins creates penetration with an explosive first step and can finish at the quarterback with an array of power rush moves.

At 7-5 and fighting for their playoff lives, the Cowboys are done making excuses on the 2018 season. Their strides on defense speak for themselves, and with a group that keeps Dallas in every game they'll play, the door remains open for David Irving to earn snaps again when ready.

The Cowboys don't know any better than their play without Irving right now, and as winners of four straight, it's worth questioning if we'll see Irving over the last three weeks of the regular season.

Tell us what you think about "David Irving Out Again for Cowboys, Does Defense Need Him?" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



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