He went on to note his specific role in Dallas, and it’s one that should come as a surprise to no one.
“Just going out there and doing the best I can – stopping the run, plugging the holes and allowing those guys to go out there and pass rush,” Hankins said.
Unlike the free agent signing of Jason Peters, another former NFC East rival who now dons the Cowboys logo in 2022, there’s no ramp-up period required for Hankins – having played in five games this season for the Raiders.
“I played last week so it’s not like I’m coming off of the streets, so my conditioning is good,” he said. “I’m just ready to go out there and play, the only thing is I’m [now] playing for the Dallas Cowboys. … I think I can know enough [this week] to go out there and play [against the Bears] at a high level. It’s only Wednesday so I got some time.
And just how weird does it feel to have on a Cowboys uniform after spending a half-decade as their divisional foe? A smiling Hankins explained it’ll take a little bit of getting used to, but also that he’s thrilled “to be wanted” by a team that already boasts such a prolific defense and coordinator in Dan Quinn.
“It’s a little weird but I’m excited for it,” Hankins said. “A lot of my family – my uncle that lives out here in Dallas is pumped. He couldn’t believe it when I told him, so he had to call me back just to make sure and I told him, ‘Yea, it’s real .’
“Everybody is excited for me, and I’m excited myself.”
Having been at practice on Wednesday, meeting and mingling with players and coaches alike, Hankins was also able to meet with Quinn and have a one-on-one with the popular coordinator – establishing a connection and potentially setting the stage for what both believe will be a fruitful relationship over the remainder of the 2022 season.
“He watched my movie so he knows what I can do,” said Hankins. “I know what I can do and that’s what I’m going to do: go out there and contribute. I’m just coming in here to stop the run and help this team win games.”