Cowboys Will Make Surprising Roster Cut, Predicts Analyst

Cowboys HC Mike McCarthy, owner/GM Jerry Jones

Getty Cowboys HC Mike McCarthy, owner/GM Jerry Jones

The Dallas Cowboys are heading into training camp stressing competition on defense under new coordinator Dan Quinn. The Dallas Morning News’ John Owning believes defensive tackle Trysten Hill will not make the Cowboys’ final 53-man roster.

This is significant given Hill is just two years removed from being a highly-touted second-round pick coming out of UCF. Owning’s roster projection has the following defensive linemen making the cut: DeMarcus Lawrence, Randy Gregory, Osa Odighizuwa, Neville Gallimore, Brent Urban, Chauncey Golston, Quinton Bohanna, Tarrel Basham, Dorance Armstrong and Bradlee Anae.

“The biggest surprises here are that former second-round pick Trysten Hill and free-agent addition Carlos Watkins didn’t make the cut,” Owning detailed. “While Hill flashed some great things last year, earning a new coaching staff’s trust coming off a serious injury is a tall task, so it wouldn’t be surprising if he was a surprise cut. While I think it would be unwise, there’s also a chance Dallas keeps Hill or Watkins over Bradlee Anae, Dorance Armstrong or Tarrel Basham to keep more interior defensive line depth on the roster.”

Hill Was the Cowboys’ 1st Pick in the 2019 NFL Draft

The Cowboys are hoping Hill’s career can finally get off the ground with Quinn taking over the defense. After selecting Hill in the 2019 draft, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones sounded bullish on his potential.

“I want him to just work hard and get his technique down,” Jones said in May 2019, per USA Today. “If so, he can be a heck of an asset for the Cowboys.”

Hill Is Recovering From a Torn ACL

Hill has had limited reps in his NFL career playing in just 12 total games in his first two seasons. Hill played five games last season before sustaining an ACL injury in October that sidelined him for the rest of 2020. The defensive tackle played in seven contests and was a healthy scratch in nine games during his rookie season, per Hill is expected to make a full recovery by the time the 2021 season begins but any setbacks could put him on the roster bubble.

“As was previously mentioned, it’s time for Hill to show his stuff,” the Dallas Cowboys team site detailed. “At the very least, it’s at least fortunate that the ACL injury happened early in the 2020 season. With roughly 10 months between the time of the injury and the start of training camp, the soon-to-be 23-year-old has plenty of time to rehab and get ready for another go. Hill and Neville Gallimore are currently the centerpieces of the defensive tackle position.”

Even if he does make the roster, Hill is going to have to fight for snaps this season. During an offseason press conference, Quinn gave a glimpse of what he expects to see from the Cowboys defense.

“You want to have enough different players that you’re versatile enough to adapt to any offensive scheme,’’ Quinn said, per The Dallas Morning News. “Whatever size or style team you’re playing against, you want to be versatile enough to be able to say, ‘All right, this is how we’re going to match up and get it on.’”

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