Dallas Cowboys: Don’t put Trysten Hill to pasture quite yet

Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports
Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports /

Dallas Cowboys fans were none too thrilled when the Cowboys made Trysten Hill their top pick in the 2019 Draft. The defensive tackle from Central Florida was a reach to many draft analysts and considered high risk for his limited experience and questionable maturity.

Those criticisms became abundantly clear early in Hill’s rookie season when he contributed next to nothing statistically, playing 121 snaps in a season he spent most the time in the doghouse. Since that season, he lost his greatest advocate (Rod Marinelli) and has been on the chopping block ever since.

Trysten Hill has been performing well in training camp and could make an impact on the Dallas Cowboys this year.

At 6-foot-3, 310lbs, Trysten Hill is a big guy with special traits. Athletic and explosive off the snap. Hill has the ability to be a standout performer in the NFL. It’s what attracted the Dallas Cowboys to him in the first place and it’s the reason he’s hung along as long as he has.

Fans haven’t been quite as patient as the Cowboys. Since 2020 they’ve been writing him off (yours truly included) and here in the last year of his rookie deal, it’s more of the same.

Younger DT draft picks like Osa Odighizuwa, Neville Gallimore, Quinton Bohanna, John Ridgeway, and Chauncey Golston (who’s now more DT than DE) have all passed him over in the hearts and minds of Cowboys Nation. But the Dallas Cowboys may not be so easily swayed…


The Dallas Cowboys have not given up on their former top pick. And it’s more than raw potential and sunk costs driving their patience.

In Cowboys Camp, Hill is standing out as a top defensive tackle this year. In a year where the defensive tackles look as good as they’ve ever looked, that’s saying something. Osa “Diggy” is still the top dog in the pecking order, but after that it’s anyone’s game and Trysten Hill is right in the mix.

Hill stands out in his ability to do it all. Unlike Bohanna and Ridgeway, Hill can pressure the passer as well as stop the run making him a multitool in Dan Quinn’s defense. He doesn’t have that same inside/outside flex of Golston, Watkins, or Basham, but he can clog the A-gap, pursue a run laterally, and create inside pressure on any given play, which is something the Cowboys have struggled to do in recent seasons.

The Dallas Cowboys defensive line likes to work in a rotation. Bouncing between odd and even man fronts, Quinn needs a handful of different players who can work a variety of assignments. Hill is one of those players.

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Is Trysten Hill a lock for the 53-man roster this year? No, but it wouldn’t surprise me one bit to see him in the top-3 of the IDL rotation this season. I wouldn’t give up on him quite yet, Hill may just be a late bloomer on the cusp of breaking out.