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Trysten Hill Officially Declared as Cowboys Starting DT in 2020

In a radio interview yesterday, Stephen Jones named Trysten Hill as one of the Dallas Cowboys’ starting defensive tackles in 2020. This validates what we’ve been hearing from training camp; the second-year prospect is finally delivering on his 2nd-round promise.

While we often fear the sophomore slump from many players, Hill’s rookie season didn’t leave much room for further disappointment. He reportedly fell into the doghouse due to a lack of effort and typical immature antics, such as arriving late to team meetings and falling asleep during them.

But after the first few weeks of this year’s camp, Trysten was garnering praise for his renewed devotion to his craft. After pre-camp projections that Hill might not even make the roster in 2020, his sophomore surge has now taken him to the top of the depth chart.

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Cowboys VP Stephen Jones on @SiriusXMNFL said Trysten Hill is going to be one of Dallas’ starting defensive tackles. “He has stepped up and never missed a lick. He’s done a great job every day. He’s been a true professional. I think he’s really gonna pay off for us this year.”

Granted, Hill probably doesn’t get this starting nod if Gerald McCoy hadn’t suffered a season-ending quad injury. But this ascension also means he’s beaten out veterans Tyrone Crawford and Antwaun Woods, plus 3rd-round rookie Neville Gallimore, for the job.

Nobody would’ve guessed that a month ago. Given Dallas’ heavy offseason activity at defensive tackle, it didn’t seem that they still had much faith in Trysten.

But this is what the Cowboys hoped for when they made Hill their 2nd-round pick in 2019. The initial expectation was that Trysten would take over as a starter this year given that Maliek Collins had an expiring contract.

Dallas allowed Collins to leave in free agency but then signed McCoy and Dontari Poe, retained Woods as an exclusive rights free agent, and spent a Day 2 pick on Gallimore. It felt like a complete overhaul of the position and, especially with a new coaching staff in town, Trysten Hill was starting to look like an afterthought.

But clearly, based on Stephen Jones’ proclamation yesterday, Hill has pushed his way to the front of the line.

There will likely still be a heavy rotation of defensive linemen as Dallas utilizes multiple formations under new coordinator Mike Nolan. But Trysten has the size and athleticism to play in a variety of looks, be it a 4-3 DT or a 3-4 DE. And if Hill continues to build on this momentum in the regular season, he could make himself hard to take off the field.

The Cowboys will be looking to get their first win a week from tomorrow in Los Angeles. But before he goes up against the Rams’ offensive line, Trysten Hill has already had a big victory in 2020. He’s gone from maligned to praised, doghouse to penthouse, and is now one of your starting defensive tackles this season.

What do you think?

Jess Haynie

Written by Jess Haynie

Cowboys fan since 1992, blogger since 2011. Bringing you the objectivity of an outside perspective with the passion of a die-hard fan. I love to talk to my readers, so please comment on any article and I'll be sure to respond!

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  1. Did not see this coming, but hats off to the guy! Love seeing players getting rewarded and this staff making decisions with their eyes and not their ears.

  2. Big bonus here for the Cowboys personnel dept, I never envisioned TH on the field starting day,crazy good news though! These defensive fronts we can keep rolling into the field are going to wear O-lines thin. The constant fresh legs especially from the edges are going to have offensive tackles frazzled by start of the fourth quarter and coordinators having to leave a back in to help block …or TEs chipping our ends! Either way,less offensive traffic in our secondary should parlay all these defensive investments into shorter fields for our high powered offense! Good times ahead for the Dallas Cowboys!!

  3. Honestly, I didn’t think Hill would make the roster. I’m glad he did! He has a lot of potential, and I’m excited to see him play.

  4. Honestly, this is pretty meaningless right now. Let’s hold off from drawing any conclusions until we see how this D line looks on the field. As much as the press has declared Will McClay & Co’s drafting to be stellar the last 6-7 seasons, there have been quite a few misses, #1 of which being Taco, but also Tapper, Gregory. Switzer, Joe/Mike Jackson, Schultz, Chaz Green, Escobar, AOA. Meanwhile I did not read a single story on Gallimore. Hopefully he can contribute. Heard more about Anae.

    • Most of those players you named were not misses, they were good players, they just wasn’t needed, or we had other players playing better than they were, but that don’t mean they were misses!! Randy Gregory is definitely good, he just had mental problems, but he’s still on the team and doing better obviously, Ryan Switzer is good too and he proved that when he went to Pittsburgh, why everybody keeps cutting him idk, but I’d be happy to have him on my team!! Joe Jackson was good, he was just so far down the depth chart that he didn’t get a chance to play and show everybody!! Dalton Schultz is good too, just like Gavin Escobar, but they have been stuck behind Jason Witten, I’ve seen TEs leave Dallas to play for other teams and be stars, and that happened because they couldn’t get playing time in Dallas cause of Jason Witten!! I’ll admit that Chaz Green was a miss for sure, but I can’t say that about Taco…. He wasn’t given much of an opportunity to do anything with us!! And you say you haven’t read a single story on Gallimore…. Well I have and he’s been impressing everybody, and I figured he would be the starter at DT, but I guess the coaches wanted to give it to Hill who has a little more NFL experience!! And Hill is another one everybody thought would be a bust, and I wrote a few times on this site not to count him out yet and that he would come through and show how good he is, and so far it looks like I was right about him too!! Out of all those players you named off the only one that can really be considered a bust is Chaz Green!! All the other players weren’t bad!!

  5. Glad to see he came in focused and committed this yr can’t miss on too many of those 2nd rounders. I still look for Crawford and maybe Gallimore to rotate in and out at the 3-tech. Agree we still need to see what some of these players can do in an actual game, with actual tackling before we get too excited.

  6. As nice as it is to have him landing the starting job. It was expected to be the case when they drafted him that he would be a starter this year. Becuase he had such a ruff rookie campaign we spent time and money on interior DL that one of whom has already backfired and until his on the field play is proven to be what you consider a starting DT for Americas team. For example Bob Lilly,Randy white, Leon Lett, Lai Roy Glover, Jay Ratliff, and Etc. This guy could be the starter and play worse than Leonardo Carson whose name I never remembered and may have pronounced wrong. Lol Travis Fredick left an un Fillable whole at Center are Offense has weapons but what used to be our strength and core is fractured and not full of depth at even being realistically close to years past so one injury or game without one of our tackles and no fredrick as history has proven will be a bad day for dark zeke and all who care about our beloved cowboys so Trysten Hill I’m glad you stepped up but for making our off season attention put were shouldve been one solid roster spot for a 2nd year 2nd round pick you’ve got alot of catching up to do becuase so far your a mediocre investment. Hope you prove me wrong

  7. Very surprising. I wish him good luck. He was a second round pick. Woods was a cast off UDFA, Crawford is really a DE that was converted to DT because that position always seemed to be neglected, Gallimore is a rookie. So in the pecking order (after McCoy went down) before the season starts, they named him first string. I guess at this point in time, no harm, no foul. But again, best of luck to him. Hope he turns into another Randy White!

  8. This is the weakest position on our DL without question. Crawford is pretty good against the run, but lacks the burst he may have had earlier in his career. Hill and Gallimore while long on potential, are still inexperienced and have yet to show what they can do in an actual NFL game against 1st string O -linemen. Woods is adequate and is being kept because he is the only feasible replacement in the event Poe goes down. With Poe injury concerns, thought the team would try to find another good run stuffing 1-tech, although since those players are somewhat one dimensional, maybe they didn’t feel they could afford that luxury. If Poe isn’t in the game, would be really concerned about the run Defense though. Never heard about D Harrison being signed? But overall thought the team did well in filling the roster needs, always gonna be a few weak spots for any team.

  9. So a guy that Marinelli pounded the desk for and then summarily shoved to the darkest, furthest corner of his doghouse is now a starter. Hmmmm. Makes me wonder what a good, less reactionary coach could have done with other young players with loads of potential. Anyone care for a Taco?

  10. I get what ur saying…..but Taco is on his 3rd team in as many yrs. He was signed as A FA by KC and if he washes out there, he is likely out of the league. As far as Hill goes….. lack of effort, falling asleep in meetings and/or showing up late as a rookie trying to make a team does not bode well. Rookies should be hungry and focused. But realizing he was very young, they gave him a pass and brought him back (didn’t hurt his cause he was 2nd rd pick) and now it appears the light came on for him. Good for us and him! But I wouldn’t read too much into him starting. Who else were we gonna start at that position?

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