The Dallas Cowboys are closing in on their first NFL preseason game this weekend, but there are still ways the roster could shift in free agency or a trade.
Of course, the group of 90 players is going to whittle down to 53 by the start of the regular season, but the Cowboys are also in a position to make more moves. They have $19.5 million in cap space per Spotrac, need help at wide receiver and elsewhere, and have trade candidates to use for any moves.
At least that’s what Dallas Star-Telegram reporter Clarence Hill Jr. thinks. Hill, who has been at the Cowboys’ training camp in Oxnard, CA, believes that former second round pick and defensive tackle Trysten Hill is “trade bait” after an encouraging camp.
“Don’t be surprised if the Cowboys use Trysten Hill as trade bait for the start of the season. He is having a good camp,” Hill Jr. Tweeted on August 9.
Hill has had a lackluster start to his NFL career since joining the Cowboys in the 2019 NFL draft, but he was a second-round pick for a reason, so another team could be interested in his talent.
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Hill Has Issues in Dallas
There’s always a grace period for players entering the league as rookies, but the Cowboys are entering Hill’s fourth season on the team and without much tangible evidence to back up his place on the roster.
Through three seasons, Hill has made 18 total appearances. Further, his highest amount of appearances in a season in just 7. It’s one thing if a player underperforms projects, but Hill has had trouble staying on the field due to injuries and performance.
As Pro Football Reference shows, Hill has 17 solo tackles, a half-sack, and two tackles for loss in his career. As a second-round pick, that’s definitely disappointing, but the Cowboys have had decent depth on the defensive line the past two seasons.
With Hill, it could be a case that getting a fresh start on a new team could reignite his career. However, if he is having a “good camp” like Hill Jr. describes, Dallas could have a difficult decision on keeping or moving him.
Cowboys Could Trade for ‘Areas of Need’
After his initial comment on Hill being a likely name as “trade bait,” Hill Jr. then named the areas of the roster where the team could upgrade.
“the cowboys are deep on the defense line and have needs on the oline, kicker and receiver,” Hill Jr. wrote.
Kicker is the obvious one, as the Cowboys just worked out a fleet of free agent kickers and then signed Brett Maher, who started for the team in 2018 and 2019. As for wide receiver and offensive line, those moves appear to be going a bit slower.
As for offensive line, Dallas is dealing with another injury to rookie tackle Matt Waletzko, and could now be in the market for a depth tackle option that can back up both sides and help with swing duties.