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Dallas Cowboys accomplish final free agent goal, sign NT Jonathan Hankins to 1-year deal

As far as the Dallas Cowboys and free agency are concerned, the hay is officially in the barn, thanks to Wednesday’s agreement with nose tackle Johnathan Hankins on a one-year deal.

This won’t preclude the Cowboys from still supplementing their roster but as far primary goals and needs, their work is done.

Now they can a truly pure approach to the 2023 NFL Draft by targeting the best players regardless of the position.

The Cowboys began checking off their priorities in free agency by placing the franchise tag on running back Tony Pollard, guaranteeing him $10.1 million in 2023.

They filled major holes at cornerback and receiver by acquiring Stephon Gilmore and Brandin Cooks via trades from the Indianapolis Colts and Houston Texans, respectively.

They re-signed two valued members of the defense with three-year, $21 million deal for safety Donovan Wilson and a two-year, $11 million deal for linebacker Leighton Vander Esch before bringing back defensive ends Takk McKinley and Dante Fowler.

The only notable thing left to do was address nose tackle by bringing back Hankins, who the team acquired before the trade deadline in 2022 and keyed an immediate improvement in the run defense.

Owner Jerry Jones said on Monday that the team was working to bring back Hankins and deal could be done soon.

“We’re working to get something done there with Hankins,” Jones said. “That’s in progress. And certainly (if we could draft) a potential player that could help us, a big boy that could help us on the interior, we’ll always keep that in mind, too. … We’re going to be in good shape with what we’ll be having relative without the draft, we’ll be in good shape there.”

They are in good shape because they have accomplished their primary free agent goals.

“We’ve got ourselves in real good shape to get some picks that we can play immediately,” Jones said. “That’s the goal. … I feel good that we can take any position with any pick.”