James Hanna

Cowboys Place TE James Hanna On Reserve/Retired List

The Cowboys will place James Hanna on the reserve/retired list, Todd Archer of ESPN.com tweets. The tight end’s knee condition has not improved and may end his career. Hanna was not involved in the early part of the team’s offseason program, a sign that his recovery had hit a roadblock.

Due to the injured knee, Hanna has been hampered over the last two seasons. He missed all of 2016 with the malady and was less effective because of it in 2017, despite appearing in all 16 games.

Hanna was never much of a receiving threat, but he carved out a spot in Dallas based off of his blocking ability. Hanna made the roster in 2012 as a sixth-round pick and played in all but two of the Cowboys’ regular season games over the years, save for the lost 2016 season.

With Hanna out of the picture, the Cowboys’ tight end depth chart consists of Jason Witten, Geoff Swaim, Blake Jarwin, and Rico Gathers. With Witten getting up there in years, Dallas may want to give extra consideration to tight ends in next week’s draft.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Cowboys To Activate Darren McFadden, Jaylon Smith

As the stretch run approaches, the Cowboys could be receiving some reinforcement on both sides of the ball. Cowboys executive Vice President Stephen Jones told 105.3 The Fan that the team is planning on activating rookie linebacker Jaylon Smith from the non-football injury list (via ESPN’s Todd Archer). Meanwhile, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets that the team will also activate running back Darren McFadden from the NFI.

Jaylon Smith (vertical)Smith would certainly be an intriguing addition to the Cowboys defense, as the team snagged the Notre Dame linebacker in the second round of this year’s draft. The talented defender was initially expected to be a top-10 pick, but a torn ACL and MCL ended his collegiate career and dropped his draft stock. Even with a reported nerve issue in his knee, the Cowboys still had faith that Smith was worth the risk. During his final season at Notre Dame, the linebacker compiled 115 tackles, one sack, and one forced fumble.

Of course, there’s no guarantee that Smith even sees the field this season. Archer notes that the linebacker’s routine will remain the same, and the activation is just to “keep open the possibility of him playing.” The reporter says that it’s unlikely Smith sees any playing time this year.

That news shouldn’t be too devastating to Cowboys fans, as the trio of Sean Lee, Justin Durant, and Anthony Hitchens have been more than serviceable in the starting lineup. Meanwhile, the team also has four reserve Darren McFadden (Vertical)linebackers in Mark Nzeocha, Andrew Gachkar, Damien Wilson, and Kyle Wilber.

The return of McFadden will just add another talented player to the Cowboys impressive grouping of running backs. Ezekiel Elliott‘s rookie campaign has been well documented, and backup Alfred Morris is only two seasons removed from a 1,000-yard campaign. Of course, there’s no denying McFadden’s talent, as the former first-rounded rushed for 1,089 yards and three touchdowns for the Cowboys last season. The 29-year-old could make an impact on the passing game, as McFadden averaged 38 receptions per season between 2014 and 2015.

Meanwhile, Rapoport reports that tight end James Hanna had knee surgery and is expected to miss the rest of the season. Hanna opened training camp on the physically unable to perform list and had his first surgery in August.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Jets, Cowboys, Buccaneers

Some assorted notes from around the NFL as we wrap up this Monday evening…

  • Will the Jets wind up moving on from coach Todd Bowles? Brian Costello of the New York Post thinks it’s fair to start thinking about who Gang Green’s next coach could be. When/if that happens, Costello writes that the Jets should hire an offensive coach who has developed quarterbacks and has experience. Since Al Groh, all of the Jets’ hires have been first time hires. It’s also worth noting that every coach since Rich Kotite has been a defensive guy: Bill Parcells, Groh, Herm Edwards, Eric Mangini, Rex Ryan, and Bowles.
  • Cowboys tight end Geoff Swaim suffered a serious pectoral injury and will have surgery, reports Charean Williams of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram (via Twitter). The second-year player has hauled in six catches for 69 yards this season. Jon Machota of the Dallas News tweets that the team has discussed bringing in another tight end, and he notes that James Hanna is not expected to return anytime soon.
  • The Cowboys have been happy with the way tight end Rico Gathers has improved on their practice squad. However, Machota tweets that the team is unlikely to promote the sixth-round pick. Gathers, who didn’t play football in college or high school, made a name for himself as a player on the Baylor basketball team.
  • Buccaneers left guard J.R. Sweezy is still progressing from his offseason back surgery, reports ESPN.com’s Jenna Laine. Unfortunately, a source tells the reporter that the veteran is likely to finish the season on the reserve/PUP list.

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Cowboys Place Kellen Moore On IR

Today, the Cowboys placed quarterback Kellen Moore on injured reserve. Kellen Moore (Vertical)

Earlier this month, Moore broke his leg, elevating Dak Prescott to the No. 2 spot on Dallas’ quarterback depth chart. Then, when Tony Romo suffered a back injury in preseason, Prescott was bumped up to the starting role. The initial prognosis on Moore was that he would miss three or four months, but Dallas has opted to shut him down instead.

Below, we have the full slate of Dallas’ moves to get down to a 75-man roster today.


PUP List:

NFI List:

The Cowboys also placed tight end James Hanna on the reserve/physically unable to perform list and waived

NFC East Notes: Cowboys, Frederick, Giants

The biggest advantage for the Cowboys in the Travis Frederick deal comes in the length of the pact, Jason Fitzgerald of Over The Cap writes. Dallas locked Frederick in at ~$10MM in for the sixth year (2023) while other centers with comparable deals are free agents after five. If he maintains his level of play, that 2023 salary should be a discount of a few million if the cap continues to rise. Centers generally have long careers, so there’s a good chance that Frederick will still be a solid player at that point. Ultimately, if Dallas is able to get through 2017 without restructuring Frederick’s deal, this will be a great contract for the Cowboys as Dallas will have virtually no future risk, Fitzgerald writes.

Here’s more from the NFC East:

Contract Details: Freeman, Sims, Claiborne

Here are the latest contract details for players who have agreed to new deals and/or signed them in recent days. Unless otherwise specified, all links are courtesy of Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle…


  • Jerrell Freeman, LB (Bears): Three years, $12MM. Deal maxes out at $14.25MM with incentives/escalators. $6MM guaranteed at signing (Twitter link via Tom Pelissero of USA Today).
  • Eugene Sims, DE (Rams): Three years, $10MM. $3.75MM in guarantees. $2.25MM salary for 2016 guaranteed. $750K roster bonus due this week. $500K roster bonuses due on the fifth day of the 2017 and 2018 league years. $750K annual incentives for sacks and playoffs (Twitter links).
  • Jon Ryan, P (Seahawks): Four years, $10MM. $3.4MM guaranteed. $2.4MM signing bonus. $1MM salary in 2016 guaranteed. $100K incentives for Pro Bowl and playoffs (Twitter link).
  • James Hanna, TE (Cowboys): Three years, $8.25MM. $2.25MM signing bonus (Twitter link).
  • Emmanuel Lamur, LB (Vikings): Two years, $5.5MM. $2MM guaranteed. $1MM roster bonus due Monday. $15,625 per-game active roster bonus in both seasons (Twitter link).
  • Gino Gradkowski, OL (Panthers): Three years, $3.15MM. $450K signing bonus. $25K annual workout bonus (Twitter link).
  • Morris Claiborne, CB (Cowboys): One year, $3MM. Deal maxes out at $3.375MM with incentives. $500K signing bonus. $1MM in per-game active bonuses (Twitter link via Pelissero).
  • Keenan Robinson, LB (Giants): One year, $2.6MM. $1MM roster bonus due on the 10th day of the 2016 league year. $21,500 per-game active bonus. Up to $900K in playing-time incentives (Twitter link).
  • Sean Weatherspoon, LB (Falcons): One year, $1.5MM. $500K in per-game active bonuses. $750K in playing-time incentives (Twitter link via Pelissero).
  • Travaris Cadet, RB (Saints): One year, $840K. $80K signing bonus (Twitter link)


  • Eddie Pleasant, S (Texans): Two years, $2.15MM. $311K roster bonus for 2016. $36K roster bonus for 2017 (link).
  • Matt Cassel, QB (Titans): One year, $2MM. $750K signing bonus. $500K in incentives (Twitter link via Pelissero).
  • Shane Lechler, P (Texans): One year, $1.8MM. $500K signing bonus (link).
  • Nick Novak, K (Texans): One year, 965K. $80K roster bonus due Monday (link).

Cowboys, James Hanna Agree To Deal

The Cowboys have locked up another one of their own free agents, according to Adam Caplan of ESPN.com, who reports (via Twitter) that the club has agreed to a three-year deal with tight end James Hanna. It’s worth $8.25MM, per Caplan, and features $3.25MM in guaranteed money, according to Charean Williams of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram (Twitter link).James Hanna

Hanna, 26, has never been a focal point of the Cowboys’ offense since joining the team in 2012, but he has played well behind starter Jason Witten, catching the occasional pass but serving primarily as a blocker. For his four-year career, he has 33 receptions for 286 yards, with no touchdowns.

Despite his modest pass-catching numbers, Hanna had received interest from multiple teams since free agency began this week. He was cited as a potential target for the Vikings if Minnesota fails to re-sign Rhett Ellison, and also had a visit lined up with the Chargers today. It’s not clear if the agreement with the Cowboys came before that visit started, after it ended, or sometime in the middle.

Earlier today, the Cowboys re-signed some of their other free agents, including cornerback Morris Claiborne and linebacker Kyle Wilber. The club also secured linebacker Rolando McClain earlier in the week.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

FA Rumors: Steelers, Fitzpatrick, CBs, Chargers

The Steelers are exploring the possibility of adding some pass-rushing help in free agency, and have expressed interest in veteran defensive end Jason Jones, sources tell Jeremy Fowler of ESPN.com. Jones is said to have a visit with the Dolphins scheduled for today.

Jones, 29, has been a full-time starter in Detroit for the last two seasons, picking up a total of 9.5 sacks in his last two seasons. In 2015, Pro Football Focus ranked him 43rd out of 110 qualified edge defenders, assigning him solid grades as both as a pass rusher and a run defender.

While Jones typically plays defensive end in a 4-3 system, Fowler suggests that the Steelers are intrigued by the possibility of Jones being able to rush from the outside and slide inside when necessary. Pittsburgh runs a 3-4 base, but defensive coordinator Keith Butler runs more 4-3 looks than you’d think, says Fowler.

As we wait to see what happens with Jones, here’s more on free agents around the NFL:

  • The “staredown” between the Jets and Ryan Fitzpatrick is continuing today, according to Michael Silver of the NFL Network, who tweets that New York is considering other options. Silver confirms that the Broncos are pondering Fitzpatrick as a backup plan. We heard earlier today that the Browns and Rams don’t have real interest in the veteran QB.
  • Prince Amukamara visiting the Jaguars could be the first domino to fall in the cornerback market, tweets Peter Schrager of FOX Sports. While most top free agents are off the board, there are still a handful of intriguing corners available, including Casey Hayward, Brandon Boykin, Brett Grimes, and Patrick Robinson.
  • Having lost Ladarius Green to the Steelers, the Chargers are exploring the free agent market for tight ends, and will bring in James Hanna for a visit today, writes Michael Gehlken of the San Diego Union-Tribune. Hanna, who has been a Cowboy for the last four seasons, is also reportedly on the Vikings’ radar.
  • Appearing on SiriusXM NFL Radio, free agent tackle J’Marcus Webb said he has a visit set up with the Seahawks, but he also believes that the Raiders would like to re-sign him (Twitter link via Eddie Borsilli).
  • After a heavy focus on skill positions on Thursday, the Patriots have linemen on the radar for today as they schedule free agent visits, Mike Reiss of ESPN.com (via Twitter).

Zach Links contributed to this post.

Free Agent Rumors: Vikings, Weddle, Steelers

The Vikings are negotiating to bring back tight end Rhett Ellison, according to Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link). If Ellison can’t be retained, however, one option to replace him might be free agent James Hanna, formerly of the Cowboys, a source tells Chris Tomasson of the St. Paul Pioneer Press (Twitter link).

Here’s a look at some of the latest news and rumors on this crazy day of action:

  • Terence Newman is also a Vikings free agent, and the club will talk to his agent once again later tonight or tomorrow, tweets Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN. Wolfson also says that Minnesota did not show interest in guard Jeff Allen, as Alex Boone was their target all along.
  • The Steelers like veteran safety Eric Weddle, a source tells Aditi Kinkhabwala of NFL.com (Twitter link), but the club thinks he’s too expensive at the moment. Pittsburgh is hoping Weddle’s price falls.
  • Free agent offensive lineman Ted Larsen will take a visit with the 49ers, tweets Mike Garafolo of FOX Sports (Twitter link).
  • The Bears are not done looking for free agent offensive lineman, even after agreeing to a deal with Bobby Massie, reports Adam Jahns of the Chicago Sun-Times (Twitter link).
  • Texans restricted free agent corner A.J. Bouye is drawing interest from other clubs, but no offer sheet is yet on the table, according to Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle (Twitter link). Bouye was tendered at the lowest level, so Houston won’t get any compensation if it fails to match an offer.