The former Giants starter has seen his Raiders role diminish under new DC Patrick Graham this season, but the veteran interior D-lineman has extensive starting experience. Hankins stands to add a seasoned depth piece to Dallas’ high-end D-line.
This is a pick-swap trade. Dallas will send a 2023 sixth-round pick to Las Vegas for the 10th-year defender, per Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets, adding that a 2024 seventh will go back to the Cowboys (Twitter links). It will mark Hankins’ third career team change.
After a mid-career stopover with the Colts, Hankins enjoyed a lengthy Raiders run. The former Giants second-round pick started 61 games with the Raiders. Only one of those came this season, which has seen Hankins’ defensive snap rate drop from 58% to 37%. Hankins, 30, had played at least 58% of the Raiders’ defensive snaps in each of his previous four seasons with the team.
While the Raiders had a regular role carved out for the 340-pound defender, big money did not follow. The Colts gave Hankins a three-year, $27MM deal in 2017, but they cut bait a year later. Since, Hankins has signed a host of short-term, lower-cost agreements. This latest deal will not hit the Cowboys’ cap too hard. Hankins signed a one-year, $1.33MM accord this offseason, being one of many midlevel defensive linemen to sign with the Raiders during Josh McDaniels‘ first months at the helm.
At his best, Hankins was known as a plus run-stopping presence. The Cowboys are in greater need in that area than they are for pass-rushing help, and the Dallas Morning News’ David Moore notes the team indeed discussed adding Hankins on Monday to help shore up its run defense (Twitter link). So much for Jerry Jones‘ “I don’t see a trade” forecast. Dallas leads the NFL in sacks (29) but ranks just 20th against the run.
Although Hankins took a backseat to new Raiders starters Andrew Billings and Bilal Nichols this season, he will be added to the Cowboys’ interior rotation. Hankins has spent most of his career as a 4-3 D-tackle. He will join the likes of Osa Odighizuwa, Quinton Bohanna, Trysten Hill and Neville Gallimore in Dallas. Gallimore was inactive for the Cowboys’ Week 7 game. Progression of Raiders rookie D-tackles Neil Farrell and Matthew Butler helped lead to this trade, The Athletic’s Vic Tafur tweets.