A few weeks ago the Dallas Cowboys selected Central Florida defensive tackle Trysten Hill with the 58th overall pick of the 2019 NFL Draft, their first pick in that draft. Hill’s selection was a bit of a surprise, based on the other players who were available at the time, but a closer look at the film reveals that he is an excellent fit for the Cowboys defense.
The Cowboys value quickness in their defensive linemen and like to put their players on the move. Hill has a very quick first step that makes life very difficult for opposing offensive linemen. For instance, when Hill lines up in a 1-technique on the center and the guard attempts to reach him, that guard does not stand a chance.
His best plays, however, come when he is asked to stunt into an adjacent gap. This is equally effective against the run and the pass.
On a third down play against Temple last season, coincidentally the home of new Cowboys runner Tony Pollard, Hill lined up in the B gap to the defense’s right. On the snap he quickly crossed the guard’s face and entered the A gap. As he reached it, he dipped his right shoulder and ripped by the guard’s belated attempt at a block. Memphis’ quarterback then attempted to escape the pocket, but Hill had the agility to bring him down for a sack.
Against East Carolina in 2018, Hill used the same move against the run. He lined up in the B gap on the defense’s left, but on the snap stunted into the A gap. As he crossed the guard’s face he once again lowered his shoulder and ripped right by him. The key to this play, just like the previous play, is Hill’s quickness. EC’s guard is expecting to block him in the gap to one side and before he knows what hit him, Hill has penetrated the gap on his other side. This time it is not a pass but a quarterback iso play. Hill is able to bend and tackle the runner from behind resulting in a loss of yardage.
Trysten Hill’s quickness off the line makes him an ideal fit for this Dallas defense. He should have a long and prosperous career with the Cowboys.