Cowboys defensive tackle Trysten Hill returned to practice on Wednesday for the first time since his ACL tear on October 11, 2020.
That's right. Only a few plays after Dak Prescott's brutal leg injury that's become etched into the mind of every Cowboys fan, another starter went down with a season-ending injury — and he's only just now coming back. Defensive tackle Trysten Hill returned to the practice field, and Head Coach Mike McCarthy is excited to see what he brings to the flourishing Cowboys defense.
“I think he's such an explosive player,” Coach McCarthy said. “I am looking forward to seeing him work tomorrow in pads. He looks good.”
McCarthy was a fan of Hill's before he went down with injury last October. After the devastating game versus the Giants, the head coach sung praise for the injured tackle.
“Trysten has probably been – not being here last year, but coming off of last year's tape and going to the virtual spring, has probably been our most improved defensive player, definitely our most improved defensive lineman,” McCarthy said after the game. “I was just so excited about the progress that he was making.”
With a clear fan in his head coach, it's possible — although unlikely — that Hill could see the field during Sunday night's game versus the Minnesota Vikings. That said, the Cowboys defensive line has made significant additions in Hill's absence.
Third-round pick Osa Odighizuwa has been a standout for the Cowboys in his rookie season, with the third-most sacks on the team behind Randy Gregory and Micah Parsons (both of whom have also made significant improvements to the defensive line in Hill's absence).
Although time will ultimately tell what Hill's role in the 2021 Cowboys defense will be, it's possible he could work his way back into the starting lineup.
Injured DT Neville Gallimore is still not “going to be practicing anytime soon,” according to Cowboys VP Stephen Jones. Alongside Odighizuwa, Carlos Watkins has held his ground as the other starting defensive tackle, but if Hill were to outperform, it's certainly feasible that fans could see Hill return as a starter.
Nevertheless, once Gallimore returns too, the Cowboys will have a decision to make at defensive tackle. Whether that means Hill is a starter or simply rotating in on select plays remains to be seen.