Even though the free agency period started months ago and the 2022 NFL Draft is behind us, NFL teams still have some major decisions to make. With several new additions to the Dallas Cowboys roster, veteran players will have to compete to get their jobs back. With only 53 players able to make the roster, teams will have to make cuts, trades, and figure out who will help them succeed in 2022.
In a post-draft article, Bleacher Report took a unique approach to the rest of the offseason. The website did an article listing the best player from each of the 32 NFL teams that has a chance to get cut before the season. The reasons for these potential cuts could be salary cap space, lack of performance, depth chart competition, and more. For the Cowboys, Bleacher Report writer Ian Wharton suggested defensive tackle Trysten Hill.
Hill is a former second-round pick from the 2019 NFL Draft. He entered the league with a ton of promise but has yet to live up to his expectations. In his rookie season, he allegedly had issues with former DC Rod Marinelli and ended up being a healthy scratch for the bulk of the season. Aside from that, the young defender has been injured for most of his career. In three years with Dallas, he has only played in 18 games with five starts. Hill was also suspended for one game last season after punching Raiders guard John Simpson after the Cowboys’ Thanksgiving game.
After missing most of 2020 with a torn ACL, Hill slowly fell down the depth chart behind names like Neville Gallimore, Carlos Watkins, and Osa Odighizuwa. While none of these three DTs are groundbreaking players, they are all still currently on the roster for 2022 and proved themselves as integral assets when they got their chances in the 2021 season. Conversely, Hill was part of just 14.9 percent of defensive snaps last year.
Bleacher Report suggests the Cowboys could cut DT Trysten Hill this offseason after lack of production and several injuries
It’s also important to note that it seems the Cowboys aren’t super confident about Hill, whether that be for injury concern or ability. The DT has only 27 tackles and 0.5 sacks in his 18 appearances. In the two drafts following the selection of Hill, Dallas used third-round picks to add extra defensive tackles. If the UCF product had established himself as a durable and reliable player, the front office may not have chosen to add more defenders to the roster.
With the new addition of Arkansas DT John Ridgeway in the 2022 NFL Draft, Hill will have even more competition for a spot on the team. Luckily for Hill, this front office does not like to be wrong about their draft picks. It will be very difficult for the Joneses to let go of a top draft pick. But, if Hill truly proves to be the lowest man of the totem poll in training camp, the front office may let him go to fill up space for deserving players and rookies.
Right now, Dallas has a lot of players at the defensive tackle position. Waiting for a soon-to-be fourth-year player to develop is a bit too much of a stretch. The front office also has an easy “out” of sorts with Hill. There is only one year left in the 24-year-old’s contract. If the Cowboys release Hill, the team will save almost $1.2 million in cap space and will only have a dead cap hit of about $400,000.
Will Ridgeway, Watkins, Odighizuwa, and Gallimore outshine Hill in training camp? Is this second-rounders time to make a name for himself finally up? It would certainly be wild to see the Cowboys let go of a top-100 pick. But, at the end of the day, numbers are numbers. Why keep a guy around if someone better can take his spot?