5 Cowboys players who could be cut before training camp

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3. Johnathan Hankins, NT

When the Cowboys traded for Johnathan Hankins last season, it was a huge relief. For years, under Jason Garrett, they undervalued both the safety position as well as the nose tackle spot. When they brought in Dan Quinn ahead of the 2021 campaign, that changed.

Not only did they add Malik Hooker and Jayron Kearse at safety but they followed that up with a true nose tackle in 2022. Hankins, who came over in a trade with the Las Vegas Raiders, made an instant difference.

While Hankins himself didn't rack up huge individual numbers, he clogged the lanes and the team's rushing yards allowed fell by nearly a full yard per attempt.

Hankins, who recently turned 31, re-signed on a one-year deal and was expected to resume his role as the starting 1-tech. However, that might no longer be the case given the move Dallas made in the 2023 NFL Draft.

In Round 1, they added Mazi Smith from Michigan who is a massive 1-tech listed at 6-foot-3 and 337 pounds. He's nearly as big as Hankins while showing much more agility — plus he's 10 years younger.

If Smith comes into camp and proves he can start, that might cause the front office to consider moving on from Hankins. What it will really come down to is how they feel about Quinton Bohanna — a 360-pound third-year pro from Kentucky. If they feel he can get it done as the reserve nose tackle, Hankins could be in trouble.