The Dallas Cowboys desperately need Trysten Hill to grow up fast

Dallas Cowboys, Trysten Hill (Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images)
Dallas Cowboys, Trysten Hill (Photo by Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images) /

With the loss of Gerald McCoy, the Dallas Cowboys will need Trysten Hill to step up.

Remember when I said depth this year will be more important than ever? Well, the Dallas Cowboys suffered their first big loss of the season when newly signed veteran defensive tackle Gerald McCoy tore his right quadriceps on the first day of padded practice.

It was a huge blow to the defensive line, an area of concern even before the injury. One of the Cowboys’ biggest offseason signings, the six-time Pro Bowler was set to be the anchor of the defensive line. With McCoy now out for the season, there’s a gaping hole in the middle. And honestly, there’s not much out there to replace a player of that caliber.

The Cowboys will have to lean heavily on their current roster of players, which likely means an increased role for second-year defensive tackle Trysten Hill. Will he rise to the occasion? So far, all signs point to ‘yes’ as defensive line coach Jim Tomsula has recently praised Hill’s work ethic during camp.

Here’s what Tomsula told reporters via on Saturday:

"“I’m tickled to death in how hard he’s working both mentally and physically, and how hard he’s working in the meeting rooms. The questions, the phone calls, the texts – him swinging back by the office at night, asking questions. He’s wanting to look at a clip of tape. When you see him walking around the hallways, his eyes are buried in his (tablet) and he’s watching reps of film. I’m really exciting for that guy and the way he’s approaching it and getting better every day.”"

This is exactly the kind of thing you want to hear about a second-year player coming off a disappointing rookie season. It sounds like a player who is hungry to prove himself after years of getting a bad rap.

Hill’s disciplinary issues have been well-documented since his college days at the University of Central Florida. As a UCF fan, I had the opportunity to watch Hill regularly and saw flashes of tremendous potential when he played under Scott Frost. Unfortunately, this talent was often overshadowed by his contentious relationship with coach Josh Heupel in his junior year.

Hill is still being viewed under a close microscope. Heading into camp there were a lot of question marks surrounding the second-year defensive tackle and what sort of role he’ll play in his sophomore season. You can bet with McCoy gone, it will certainly be a larger one than the 121 snaps he took as a rookie.

As it currently stands, the Cowboys have Dontari Poe, Antwaun Woods and rookie Neville Gallimore. Hill now figures to have an increased role in the defensive line rotation.

It would be unfair to ask Hill, or any of the current linemen on the roster, to fully replace what McCoy would’ve brought to the field every Sunday. But I don’t think it’s an understatement to say the Cowboys will need more than just the four tackles and two quarterback hits the second-round draft pick produced as a rookie.

Hot. Five Dallas Cowboys who are turning heads at training camp. light

Obviously, as the 58th overall pick in the 2019 Draft, the Cowboys have high hopes for Hill. With McCoy on the roster, they had the luxury of letting Hill adjust into his role, especially given his young age. Now, they desperately need the 22-year-old to grow up fast.