The Cowboys did make one move of sorts on Tuesday by waiving Trysten Hill.
While the Cowboys didn’t make a move before Tuesday’s NFL trade deadline, there was a surprise to the roster a few minutes later.
The Cowboys have officially waived defensive tackle Trysten Hill. The fourth-year pro was not active in last week’s game over the Bears, although he had played in the first seven games of the season.
The team likely made a few attempts to trade Hill before the deadline, but ultimately decided to release the 2019 second-round pick.
Hill never met expectations that come with being a Day 2 draft pick. He suffered a season-ending knee injury in 2020, the same game Dak Prescott had his ankle injury. Hill only played in six games last season. In fact, the seven games this year tied for the most Hill played in one season.
Even though Jerry Jones made bullish comments, the Cowboys remained idle before the trade deadline.
The NFL Trade Deadline has come and gone and the Dallas Cowboys (surprisingly or unsurprisingly depending on your fandom) did not make any moves on Tuesday before the deadline.
To be fair to the front office, they did make a trade. Last week, the team traded with the Las Vegas Raiders to get DT Johnathan Hankins to help boost the run defense. Dallas sent a 2023 sixth-round pick in exchange for the massive tackle and a 2024 seventh-round pick.
However, many were hoping that the Joneses would make a move for a wide receiver on Tuesday to help the offense and truly amp up this roster heading into the latter half of the season. The Cowboys currently are in contention for a top seed in the NFC but have two major competitors within their own division in the Eagles and Giants.
Skip Peete, Cowboys running back coach, showed support for both his running backs.
Owner and general manager Jerry Jones made it clear on Sunday evening that the team “goes as Zeke goes”, a definitive proclamation there will be no schematic changes in what has become a mostly 60-40 rep split between the two (in favor of Elliott), but those who yearn for a deeper understanding now have it - running backs coach Skip Peete delivering the intel with more efficiency than Amazon Prime.
Peete was as blunt as he was honest in his assessment of the situation at RB in Dallas. “I’ve always felt - at that position - you’ve always gotta have two guys that help each other,” said Peete. “And it helps if the running styles are a little bit different. The contrast presents a different effect to the defense. I learned that a long time ago.”
“You’ve got to have a fresh back in the game at all times,” said Peete. “… [It works] because you have guys that are both starters but they share the workload and, at the end of the day, you have a fresh back from play No. 1 to however many plays you have. I learned that from my former boss, Al Davis. It’s something the Raiders have always done - going back to Mark van Eeghan and Clarence Davis to Bo Jackson and Marcus Allen, they always had two guys.”
The Cowboys defense had one of its worst performances against the Bears, is it time to worry?
For the third time this season, the Dallas Cowboys defense got beat by a seemingly one-dimensional attack in about the most predictable manner possible. The Chicago Bears, completely devoid of a passing attack, had but one resource to fall on last Sunday. The Bears knew it. The Cowboys knew it.
Yet, despite that singularity in their attack, the Dallas Cowboys defense struggled to stop it. This marks a trend for Dan Quinn’s unit this season. A trend that has grown from a concern, to a flat-out worry.
These struggles led to the Cowboys trading for run-stuffer extraordinaire, Johnathan Hankins. Hankins, 340lbs, isn’t anything but a run-stuffer. While he won’t do much to stop the broken play scampers, he will hold fast in the middle of the pocket, ideally allowing run-and-chase players on the second level the opportunity to stop these predictably problematic scrambles.
The Cowboys run defense could become an issue down the stretch.
Although the team’s biggest strength, one problem Dan Quinn needs to try and clean up with this unit is defending the run. After eight weeks, the Cowboys have given up the seventh most rushing yards this season with 1,081.
Dallas allowed 240 yards rushing and surrendered 29 points on the scoreboard, the most the defense has given up all season, primarily due to the inability to stop the run.
Khalil Herbert was their leading rusher with 99, Justin Fields had 60, and David Montgomery chipped in with 53. They also got 33 from Velus Jones Jr.
We all understand how dominant this defense is, but the Cowboys will have to find a formula to help defend the massive outburst from teams on the ground, or at some point, it will cost them late in games.
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