Dallas Cowboys: It’s Trysten Hill’s Job to Win

(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

The Dallas Cowboys 2019 second-round pick, Trysten Hill, looks like he’ll finally get his big opportunity

In March, the Dallas Cowboys signed DT Gerald McCoy and NT Dontari Poe in free agency, marking a paradigm shift in how the team approached the period. In April, the team drafted DT Neville Gallimore who fell to them in the third round. Less than two weeks ago, the team signed DE Everson Griffen on a one-year deal.

All these transactions really beefed up a defensive line that looked outmatched in different parts all throughout last season. However, because of all these transactions, a fairly important name got put to the side.

2019 second-round pick Trysten Hill, the defensive tackle from Central Florida. Drafted with future stardom in mind, the luster of the pick seemingly disappeared quickly as he didn’t garner much playing time, for various reasons, on a defense that had its struggles on the interior defensive line.

Heading into training camp, expectations were somehow lower than at the start of the previous season as he was buried in a depth chart consisting of Dontari Poe, Gerald McCoy, Neville Gallimore, DT Antwaun Woods, and DT/DE Tyrone Crawford. With DE/OLB Aldon Smith and DE/DT Joe Jackson showing some positional versatility, the idea of Hill garnering playing time was slowly dissipating.

With the unfortunate news of Gerald McCoy’s ruptured right quad, Hill’s name has not only resurfaced but also has gained traction. While the team can currently peg Tyrone Crawford as the starter at 3 technique, it would be difficult to envision a situation in which he plays more than 55 to 60 percent of the snaps after coming back from hip surgery, an injury that sidelined him for 12 games in the 2019 season.

This leaves recently drafted Neville Gallimore and the sophomore Trysten Hill in a prime position to earn some playing time. While both will likely play 3 technique at the next level, both of them have fairly different games, which lead to fairly different impacts.

Hill is almost 6-foot-3 inches and 311 pounds. With 33 3/8 inch arms and 10 1/4 inch hands, he has good length to win with power on the interior and good ankle flexion to win with bend. Gallimore is 6-foot-2 inches and 302 pounds with 32 3/4 inch arms and 9 3/4 inch hands. A shorter tackle who won in college with an explosive first step and speed to threaten offensive linemen in their pass sets.

Both players are explosive for their position. Hill’s vertical jumped 35 inches and had a 10 yard split of 1.73 seconds on his 40-yard dash. Gallimore didn’t vertical jump but did explode off the line with a 1.69 10 yard split on his 40-yard dash.

However, what both players currently offer in their games surprisingly differs. Hill is a longer and bigger athlete who suffers from a consistently poor pad level height. This causes him to lose balance preventing him from anchoring when 2-gapping, neutralizing a base block in run support, or bull rushing against offensive linemen.

Gallimore is more developed as a pass rusher displaying a better pass rush plan, better use of hands, and better pad height than Hill, but his smaller stature and adequate mental processing in run support make him a net negative in the run game. This is fairly significant considering the current state of Dallas’s interior defensive line.

Dontari Poe is the “undisputed” starter at 1 technique with Antwaun Woods expected to be his immediate backup. On early downs, Gerald McCoy was expected to play 3 technique alongside Poe. With McCoy out, his absence leaves a significant void on first and/or second down.

Tyrone Crawford could fill that role, but his value as a 3 technique tackle come as a pass rusher displaying solid explosiveness and good use of hands against interior linemen. He also weighs under 290 pounds.

In run defense, the biggest athletes are almost always thrown into the middle of the defensive line. With Hill being the biggest amongst Crawford and Gallimore, you can probably see what I’m trying to hint at.

Playing Hill on early downs would allow the Cowboys to use Tyrone Crawford, Neville Gallimore, and reportedly Aldon Smith as pass-rushing 3 technique tackles. Having many energized pass rushers sounds like a recipe for success especially considering the talent the team has on the edge in DeMarcus Lawrence and Everson Griffen.

Will Hill start at the beginning of the year? No. Will he start at any point in the season? Likely not. However, he does seem to be turning heads in training camp for all the right reasons with HC Mike McCarthy pointing out his development thus far in camp.

Expecting a guy who didn’t play much in his first season to make a huge leap in his second season requires a lot of faith from the coaching staff. For a guy with noted maturity problems, the order becomes much taller.

However, stranger things have happened. Jim Tomsula is the defensive line coach and he has coached many defensive linemen into productive seasons and coaching contracts. With seemingly little expectations heading into the season, the lack of attention is all that Hill might need in order to succeed.

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Next. Could Tyrone Crawford have a Career Year?. dark

That is if he makes the final roster.

  • Published on 08/22/2020 at 11:01 AM
  • Last updated at 08/22/2020 at 06:57 AM