Dallas Cowboys: How much will Gallimore and Hill impact DT decisions?

Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports /

After ranking at or near the bottom of the NFL in both interior pressure rate and run-stopping, it’s become clear the Dallas Cowboys need to improve their interior defensive line this offseason. How they go about upgrading is a topic for debate.

With both free agency and the draft at their disposal, the Dallas Cowboys have a few options to explore. They could opt for a veteran free agent who they can depend on from Day 1, or they could go the cheaper route and lean on the draft to fill their needs.

And if we’re all being completely honest, they could probably do both given the horrific state of affairs at the defensive tackle spot. The question to ponder today is how much the Dallas Cowboys’ young defensive tackles, Neville Gallimore and Trysten Hill, factor into this whole thing.

Should the presence of Neville Gallimore and Trysten Hill impact the Dallas Cowboys decisions?

We know defensive tackles take time to develop. They aren’t like linebackers and running backs that you can just plug and play as rookies. Even elite prospects picked in the top of the first round struggle making much of an impact as rookies, and often take 1-3 years to really establish themselves as assets.

The progression of Gallimore and Hill, and their likelihood to be starters one day, need to factor into any roster decisions this offseason.

So it’s understandable a couple Day 2 draft picks like Neville Gallimore (2020 3rd rounder) and Trysten Hill (2019 2nd rounder) have yet make their presence felt in the pros. It would be unfortunate if the Dallas Cowboys invested top free agent money and/or premium draft capital on the DT position, only to see them buried on the depth chart because Hill and Gallimore took that next step.

The progression of Gallimore and Hill, and the likelihood one of both become starters one day, needs to factor into any roster decisions this offseason. Otherwise a veteran could come in as a progress stopper and/or a draft pick could find themselves buried on the depth chart.

How good is Trysten Hill?

Trysten Hill, the 58th pick of the 2019 Draft, had a poor rookie season. Not only did Dallas’ top pick in the draft fail to crack the pedestrian DT rotation, but he was completely inactive for nine games, surviving primarily on his draft position.

But last season offered a sliver of hope to the Dallas Cowboys. Hill flashed some explosiveness early in the season and showed he could create pressure at the pro level. Before being lost to a season ending injury in Week 5, he showed he may not be the total bust many thought he was.

At the end of the day, Hill still didn’t play well and he was an inconsistent performer and an extreme liability against the run. He showed potential but that’s about it.

Verdict: Hill’s presence on the roster shouldn’t have any impact on the Dallas Cowboys decision making this offseason

How good is Neville Gallimore?

Neville Gallimore, picked 82nd overall in the 2020 NFL Draft, was also a a liability early in his rookie season. But unlike Hill a year before, Gallimore improved as the season went on and was actually really good down the stretch.

Hill began the season bouncing back and forth between the 3-technique and 1-technique. The 6-foot-2, 304 lb. tackle struggled in both roles, only turning it on later when asked to focus on the 3-tech under tackle spot.

Neville Gallimore isn’t there yet but he’s trending in the right direction and looks like a legit rotational piece, if not starter, in the very near future. Unless the Dallas Cowboys decide to draft Christian Barmore, the top 3-tech DT in the 2021 Draft class, chances are that player will be below Gallimore on the depth chart next season.

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Verdict: Nevillie Gallimore isn’t a sure thing, but his presence should give pause to drafting a 3-tech in Rounds 2 or 3 of the draft. Ideally, Dallas would bring in a bargain veteran to rotate with Gallimore at 3-tech this year.

The Dallas Cowboys cannot afford to do nothing at DT this season. While Gallimore improved dramatically as the season progressed, he’s not a sure thing and if a bargain falls in Dallas’ lap, they have to take advantage. But unless they go DT in Round 1, it’s unlikely a rookie will supplant Gallimore in 2021.

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Dallas needs to keep their options open but they don’t need any more mid-round 3-tech developmental players on their roster. They need a proven force at 1-tech and someone to work in a rotation at under tackle.

  • Published on 02/22/2021 at 12:01 PM
  • Last updated at 02/22/2021 at 10:52 AM