James Hanna earns more playing time

December, 17, 2012
12/17/12
1:10
PM ET

IRVING, Texas – Slowly but surely James Hanna has received more playing time this season and slowly but surely he has become a part of the Cowboys’ offense.

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In Sunday’s 27-24 overtime win against Pittsburgh, Hanna, the rookie tight end, caught two passes for 45 yards, matching his season total for receptions.

“It’s pretty hard to describe,” Hanna said of the feeling of contributing to a win. “I’ve just been waiting for the opportunity to produce a little bit. When you have a chance, it’s a really good feeling.”

Hanna’s catches of 19 and 26 yards from Tony Romo came in the second quarter when he ran away from linebackers Larry Foote and James Harrison, and helped lead to Jason Witten’s touchdown catch.

That it came against a defense like Pittsburgh’s meant something too.

“It makes it feel legitimate, like I didn’t just steal it from somebody,” Hanna said.

Did he get the feeling that the Steelers were saying, ‘Who’s that guy?’

“Actually I talked to them (before the draft),” Hanna said. “I wouldn’t have been shocked if they drafted me. They probably knew me a little bit.”

Todd Archer

ESPN Dallas Cowboys reporter

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