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Trysten Hill Making an Impact in his Second Year

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.

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Eye-popping rep here from Trysten Hill on a play-action (the madman without any gloves) stringing moves together vs. Mack.

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.

What do you think?

John Williams

Written by John Williams

Dallas Cowboys optimist bringing factual, reasonable takes to Cowboys Nation and the NFL Community. I wasn't always a Cowboys fan, but I got here as quick as I could.

Make sure you check out the Inside The Cowboys Podcast featuring John Williams and other analysts following America's Team.


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  1. Most of the attention and expectations have focused on the DEs but production from the interior DTs is also important. They have been okay but if Hill can evolve/improve it would be huge for us.

    • I concur. The more they’re able to collapse the pocket, the better. Hill’s been good, but there are ways he can get better and now that he’s getting an opportunity to play, he just might.

  2. Gary b, actually Trysten Hill has been the only DT to actually generate pressure!! While we have a so called pro bowler in Poe that hasn’t done anything!! I actually forgot he was playing for us until just now cause I haven’t heard his name called not once yet this season!! If any of the DT need to step and improve it’s Poe!! We can at least say we’ve heard Hills name called during a game, but Poe has been a non factor so far this season!!

  3. Last season was a lost season for Hill as he was stuffed deep into Marinelli’s infamous dog house. Tomsula has obviously connected with Hill, something Rod couldn’t accomplish. Makes me wonder what could have been with Taco.

  4. Well Poe pro bowl days are past and we knew that before we signed him. The same as McCoy was no longer in his prime. But I agree that Poe needs to be more productive. As for Hill he is definitely playing the best out of all the DTs and just meant that if he continues to evolve it will be of great benefit to us.

  5. Looks like he improved quite a bit, he tackle on Chris Carson was text book, knocked him right out of the game, now if he can only tackle every running back and twist there knees in a breaking tearing style after the play is dead we will win every game!

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