That sound you hear is the malleable ice crackling under Trysten Hill’s feet.
The 2019 second-round defensive tackle was among six Dallas Cowboys shelved on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list to begin training camp, and, apparently, the longer he’s stuck behind the eight-ball, the slimmer his odds of making the final roster.
Hill, according to Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy, is the “furthest away” than any other injured player, including fellow defensive linemen DeMarcus Lawrence and Chauncey Golston.
Hill, according to beat reporter Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News, is now in a “precarious position” as he’s “already fighting for a job” but “highly unlikely” to be ready by Dallas’ regular season opener at Tampa Bay.
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Refresher on Hill
Drafted 58th overall in 2019, Hill rarely saw the field as a rookie, collecting just five tackles across seven appearances. He spent much of the season in then-Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett’s doghouse after arriving late to a team meeting and falling asleep while NBA legend Isiah Thomas addressed the players during an impassioned bye-week speech.
“What goes in is what comes out,” owner Jerry Jones remarked that year. “And so, if you go out and put everything — effort, attention to detail, technique — if you put that in during practice, that’s what comes out on Sunday. If you’re lollygagging around, that’ll come out on Sunday, too.”
The 6-foot-3, 308-pound defender was given a clean slate in 2020 when Dallas changed coordinators, parting ways with Rod Marinelli/Kris Richard and bringing aboard Mike Nolan. Nolan’s presence resulted in another nondescript campaign for Hill: 11 tackles and three quarterback hits over five starts — his first NFL starts, cut short by a torn ACL sustained last October.
Out went Nolan, in came Dan Quinn, whose influence prompted the Cowboys to prioritize the interior defensive line this offseason; the club subsequently signed veterans Brent Urban and Carlos Watkins and acquired rookies Osa Odighizuwa and Quinton Bohanna.
Hill currently is penciled in as a starting DT, flanking Watkins, but his grip on the job is becoming more tenuous by the day.
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Cowboys Not Inking Ex-Vikings CB
Elsewhere on the roster, ex-Minnesota Vikings cornerback Holton Hill conducted a free-agent workout with the Cowboys on Thursday. It didn’t lead to a contract for the Texas product.
“The Cowboys are not signing free agent CB Holton Hill, per source,” Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.
Although lacking reputable star power, Dallas could do worse than its glut of corners, featuring Trevon Diggs, Jourdan Lewis, Anthony Brown, Kelvin Joseph, Nahshon Wright, CJ Goodwin, Deante Burton, and Maurice Canady. Diggs and Wright were impressive during Thursday’s camp practice; the former picked off Dak Prescott and the latter broke up several pass attempts. Lewis, Brown, and Joseph are all locked into key roles, as well.
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL