There may not have been a more maligned player coming into 2020 training camp that Dallas Cowboys Defensive Tackle Trysten Hill. With visions of a failed first-round pick still fresh in the minds of fans, patience waned after just one season where Hill struggled to make the active roster for much of 2019, and the word out of Frisco alluded to a player that may not have been taking his new career seriously.
Hill began to put some of those concerns to rest when he showed up to training camp with a transformed physique. He didn’t look like a kid anymore, trying to play one of the more physically demanding positions in the NFL. Media members were taking notice of Hill in the early part of training camp, and all reports were optimistic that he turned a corner heading into his second year.
After Gerald McCoy was lost for the season with an injury, Hill was immediately thrust into first-team reps on defense. He didn’t disappoint, earning the starting three-technique defensive tackle job out of training camp. So far, in the early going of 2020, he’s flashed multiple times in both weeks one and two and is showing the skill and promise that made him a second-round selection in the 2019 NFL Draft.
Eye-popping rep here from Trysten Hill on a play-action (the madman without any gloves) stringing moves together vs. Mack. pic.twitter.com/bLVhveVhEL
Through two games, Trysten Hill is 15th in the NFL in Pro Football Focus’ “stops” metric, which measures tackles that prevented the offense from gaining enough yardage for it to be deemed a successful play. Through two games, Hill has three total pressures, which has him tied for 36th along with notable players like Quinnen Williams, Dexter Lawrence, Maliek Collins, Christian Wilkins, Jarran Reed, and All-Pro Calais Campbell.
Hill has yet to record a sack, but he’s showing the potential to be a disruptive force in the middle for the Cowboys. He’s delivering an effort even when the play goes away from him that should put to bed any concerns about his desire or maturity. Trysten Hill is here, and he’s here to stay.
On a team that has DeMarcus Lawrence, Everson Griffen, and Aldon Smith to rush the passer from the edge, it’s crucial for Trysten Hill to take advantage of the favorable matchups he gets in the middle. When teams look to double one of the Cowboys pass rushers on the edge, he needs to be able to beat his one-on-one matchup and disrupt the middle of the pocket.
Now getting an extended run with the first-team defense, Trysten Hill is showing that he has what it takes to be an every-down contributor in the NFL. He’s been good against the run and has provided some pressure on passing downs. With more playing time coming for the second-year pro, he has the chance to develop into an every-down three-technique for the Dallas Cowboys.