Cowboys Camp: Trysten Hill’s PUP status may save job in Dallas

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports /

When the Dallas Cowboys announced the list of players who would be placed on the Physically Unable to Perform List (aka PUP), Trysten Hill was singled out as the furthest away from return. After tearing his ACL last October, he’s yet to be medically cleared for competition in camp.

But what initially sounded like a death knell for a player already on the roster bubble, could actually prove to be his saving grace.

The Dallas Cowboys reloaded at the defensive tackle position this offseason and Hill appeared to be on the wrong side of the numbers crunch before camp even began. Stashing him on the PUP list to start the season may prove to be a blessing in disguise for the third-year veteran.

Trysten Hill may buy himself time on the Dallas Cowboys by remaining on the PUP list.

In recent 53-man roster predictions, we’ve had Hill on the outside looking in. Brent Urban, Osa Odighizuwa, and Neville Gallimore all appear to be locks for the interior defensive line. And since many of the expected defensive ends on the roster have the ability to reduce down and play inside, chances are the Dallas Cowboys will only keep one more DT on the final roster.

That means Carlos Watkins, Justin Hamilton, Quinton Bohanna, and Hill are all vying for the last spot. Not a very optimal situation for a career underachiever to be in…

It’s safe to say Trysten Hill has been a fairly significant disappointment thus far in his pro career. Attitude and a questionable work ethic were a concern before the Cowboys even drafted him. But his raw skill and athleticism were rare for a man his size so the Dallas Cowboys made him their top pick in the 2019 NFL Draft. Hoping to light a fire in him and make him a better pro than amateur, they passed over higher rated players.

That hasn’t exactly worked out.

Gone is the man who drafted him, Rod Marinelli. Gone is the man who actually gave him snaps, Mike Nolan. Now, with his third coach in as many years, Hill enters this season with a hill to climb and a reputation to repair. And since Dallas lacks proven interior play, they can’t really afford to take a flyer on a low-floor guy like Hill. Not when their just trying to hold down the fort inside.

No matter how you slice it, it would have been hard for Hill to win a roster spot this year. Especially not if the Dallas Cowboys are rushing him back from a significant knee injury. So this PUP status may prove to be a good thing.

More from Dallas Cowboys

If the Dallas Cowboys want to, they can keep Hill on the list all training camp. If players stay healthy and the competition is strong, they shouldn’t feel any obligation to bring him back. When the season starts, Hill would be eligible for the regular season reserve/PUP list. This would keep him out through the first six weeks of the season, after which he could be activated and return to practice.

I don’t have to tell any of you, a lot can change between Week 1 and Week 7. The Cowboys defensive tackles could fall to injury or they could underperform. In other words, time could open the door for some midseason reinforcements (i.e. Hill).

We’ll see how this all plays out over the next few weeks, but if Hill is already hard-pressed to make it back for camp, the Dallas Cowboys might as well kick the can rather than cut bait before they have to.

Must Read. Cowboys top-5 training camp battles to watch for. light

Next. Why the Cowboys can't be a run-first offense. dark

Trysten Hill’s PUP status may be a blessing in disguise for the preservation of his Cowboys career.

  • Published on 07/24/2021 at 11:01 AM
  • Last updated at 07/23/2021 at 19:52 PM