The Dallas Cowboys lost tight end John Phillips to the San Diego Chargers in free agency today, knocking the capable number of tight ends on the Cowboys roster to just two. Jason Witten and James Hanna are the last two standing, but despite losing Phillips, the Cowboys will be fine without him.
I realize that I’m beginning to sound like the leading member of the James Hanna fan club, but his potential is much higher than Phillips’ and he should be in line for a larger role in the Cowboys’ offense this upcoming season. Hanna came on near the end of last season and the Cowboys seemed to find something with the rookie tight end. He’s a match-up nightmare for linebackers and Dallas should be spending the off-season finding ways to get him more involved with the offense.
Phillips was a solid player for the Cowboys during his career and he was on the verge of doing some really good things with the Cowboys until he tore up his knee in the 2010 preseason Hall of Fame game. However, the Cowboys should have no problem replacing his receptions and playing time with Hannah moving into the number tight spot.
The Cowboys do need to find a reliable third tight end, preferably one that can block but it shouldn’t be too hard to find. There are a number of options in free agency, and they would come with a cheap price tag. Dallas could also draft a tight end to replace Phillips and the Cowboys have done a nice job of drafting tight ends late in the draft, a list which includes Phillips and Hanna.
Losing John Phillips is not a big deal for the Cowboys and fans should look forward to seeing a lot more from James Hanna in the coming years.
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