Houston Texans trade Canadian DT Eli Ankou to Dallas Cowboys

Photo courtesy: Matt Starkey/Cleveland Browns

Canadian defensive tackle Eli Ankou is off to his fourth team of the 2020 season.

According to a report by Aaron Wilson of the Houston Chronicle, the Houston Texans are sending Ankou across the state to the Dallas Cowboys in exchange for a 2022 seventh round pick. Ankou had only been with the Texans for 11 days after being claimed by the team on October 19.

In a whirlwind 2020 season, Ankou originally made the 53-man active roster with the Cleveland Browns in September. He was waived the next day and claimed by the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts waived him two weeks ago, landing him for a cup of tea in Houston before being shipped off to Dallas ahead of the trade deadline next week.

Batted ball specialist, Canadian DL Eli Ankou finding niche in Browns’ training camp

According to NFL insider Ian Rapoport, the trade is agreed to but will be officially executed Monday, with Ankou already driving to Dallas. The six-foot-three, 325-pound defender has appeared in twenty NFL games, recording 26 total tackles, two tackles for loss, and 1.5 sacks.

Drafted by his hometown Ottawa Redblacks in the third round of the 2017 CFL Draft, the UCLA product originally signed as an undrafted free agent with the Texans but ultimately landed with the Jacksonville Jaguars for two seasons. Cleveland poached him from the Jaguars practice roster in 2019 and Ankou went on to start several games for the team down the stretch.

On his fourth team in under two months, Ankou will join fellow Canadians Tyrone Crawford and Neville Gallimore along the Cowboys defensive line. Veteran long-snapper L.P. Ladouceur also hails from Montreal, making America’s Team the most Canadian in the entire NFL.

Given stringent COVID-19 protocols, Ankou likely won’t be cleared in time for the Cowboys’ Week 8 matchup with the Eagles but he figures to be a contributor going forward, particularly following the release of nose tackle Dontari Poe earlier this week.