The first two seasons of Dallas Cowboys football were challenging for UCF product defensive tackle Trysten Hill, coming off of a dramatic college career. As a rookie, Hill only saw the field for seven games and didn’t live up to his second-round selection.
At UCF, Hill started as a freshman at defensive end but transitioned to tackle in his next two years. During his final season as a Knight, there was reported turmoil with the coaching staff which saw him benched, but the Cowboys saw enough promise to select him in the second round.
In 2020, Hill had to step in as the starter after newly-signed Gerald McCoy went down for the year and showed the flashes that led Dallas to take him in 2019. In five games, Hill put together five quarterback pressures and was a strong pass rusher from the middle of the defensive line.
Hill’s season was stopped short by a torn ACL suffered in Week 5, while trying to avoid a penalty on a potential sack of Giants quarterback Daniel Jones. While injured, backup defensive tackle Neville Gallimore stepped into the starter’s role and held his own. Then in the offseason the Cowboys signed Brent Urban, bringing even more competition to the position.
With the talent and depth in the group, Hill will have to perform well in training camp when comes off the PUP list if he is to get into a regular season rotation. He’ll need to impress new coordinator Dan Quinn, who is already deep in evaluation of guys he’s drafted or brought in and comparing them to returning players who are on the field.
After being Rod Marinelli’s project, Hill thought he had a home after multiple coaching staffs at UCF. Then Marinelli was out and Mike Nolan was in. Now they’re gone too. The number of people left to vouch for Hill’s potential has dwindled. He’ll have to prove his worth all on his own.
Our player profile series continues with No. 72, Trysten Hill.
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