Rookie review: James Hanna
January, 23, 2013
By Calvin Watkins | ESPNDallas.com
AP Photo/Tony GutierrezJames Hanna has shown he can run good routes and could be the No. 2 tight end behind Jason Witten next season.
How acquired: Sixth round (186th overall), Oklahoma
What he did: Hanna finished the season with just eight catches for 86 yards. Hanna was third on the depth chart behind John Phillips and, of course, Jason Witten for the majority of the regular season. But injures to Miles Austin and Dez Bryant in the regular-season finale at Washington forced the Cowboys to put Hanna on the field in key situations. Hanna had three catches for 20 yards -- with his longest catch going for eight yards -- against the Redskins. Hanna was considered a pass-catching tight end coming out of Oklahoma, but there was some concern about whether he could block well enough on a consistent basis. Hanna struggled in this area until later in the regular season, but he did a nice job in the passing game overall.
Where he fits in the future: Phillips is a free agent, and it appears he in unlikely to return. If that's the case, Hanna would move into the role of No. 2 tight end behind Witten. Hanna has displayed an ability to run good routes and make catches. The Cowboys' 2012 draft class was marred by injuries, but Hanna was one of a few who remained healthy for the bulk of the season. The Cowboys need durable players moving forward, and Hanna's ability to stay on the field is a positive.