3 biggest concerns facing Cowboys entering final four games

Philadelphia Eagles v Dallas Cowboys
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2. Johnathan Hankins' injury

When you think of the most important players on the Cowboys' defense, Hankins probably has to wait a while to get a mention.

Micah Parsons and DeMarcus Lawrence obviously top the pecking order, but Stephon Gilmore, Osa Odighizuwa, DaRon Bland, the three safeties and even LBs Damone Clark and Markquese Bell are likely all regarded as more important contributors than the 31-year-old Hankins.

Now that Hankins is sidelined with a mild high-ankle sprain, though, folks might start to come to terms with his importance. Hankins isn't expected to play Sunday against the Bills, who rank eighth in rushing yards per carry.

It remains to be seen how long Hankins will be shelved, but Dallas plays the Dolphins and Lions after they get done with Buffalo. Care to guess where those teams rank in yards averaged per carry? First and fourth, respectively.

Signing veteran DT Carl Davis to the practice squad will help mitigate life without Hankins, but he hasn't played a snap all season.

The injury will also force rookie Mazi Smith and Neville Gallimore into bigger roles. Smith is expected to develop into a run-clogging tackle, but he's not there right now. Unless Davis becomes an immediate impact player, the Cowboys don't have a DT on the roster who brings to the table what Hankins does on a weekly basis.