Mac Engel

Dallas Cowboys wasted 2nd round pick on Trysten Hill to find Marinelli’s coveted DT

The best move made by Dallas Cowboys rookie defensive tackle Trysten Hill this entire season is falling asleep when Basketball Hall of Famer Isiah Thomas talked to the team.

There is no bigger fraud in basketball than Isiah, a guy who despite his talent alienated the NBA’s best players to the point he was excluded from the original Dream Team, drove the CBA into bankruptcy, was a flop as an NBA head coach, and a human disaster as the GM of the New York Knicks.

The only reason for Isiah should have been asked to talk to the Cowboys is to stress the importance of befriending the uber wealthy, namely New York Knicks owner James Dolan.

Feel free to knock Hill for everything else during a rookie season that is actually going worse than how it began, which is an accomplishment itself.

No second round draft pick can be labeled a “bust,” but what Hill is doing is proving that he was a reach. Hill is the case study of why teams, on draft day, should never try to accommodate a position coach or coordinator.

This is now two high picks spent on defensive linemen that went bust, or are at least trending south; the Cowboys cut 2017 first round pick Taco Charlton earlier this season, and he signed with the Miami Dolphins.

Hill should never have been selected in the second round, but defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli wants/loves/needs three-technique defensive tackles.

Marinelli’s scheme excels when he has an interior defensive tackle who can rush the passer from the inside, and create hell for a center and guard. The kind of guy he had in Warren Sapp, or Tommie Harris.

Since Marinelli arrived to the Cowboys in January of ‘14, he has had good defensive lineman. He has not had an interior lineman who can do what he desires, which is to chase the quarterback straight up the middle.

At 6-foot-3, 308 pounds, Hill has the right frame, but he does not have the proper game.

If you want to feel worse about this, six spots after the Cowboys selected Hill with the 58th overall pick, the Seattle Seahawks chose Ole Miss receiver DK Metcalf. Metcalf has 29 receptions for 525 yards and five touchdowns this season.

Writing off Hill is premature, but he has that look of a player the team will simply dump.

He was inactive in Week 1, which he did not even know was a possibility. Pretty sure he knows now that he’s been inactive an additional three games, and has seen his snap count steadily decrease.

Hill was sent home after being late to a meeting last week.

He has recorded one tackle in four games.

When veteran defensive tackle Tyrone Crawford was placed on injured reserve in mid October, that was the door Hill needed. He closed it.

The Cowboys traded a seventh round pick to the New England Patriots in exchange for linemen Michael Bennett for a reason.

The Cowboys invested a second-round pick on Hill, and they like him because he is a nice kid. People want to see nice young guys do well.

Other than falling asleep when Isiah Thomas talked, Trysten Hill is not doing well. Of course, neither are the majority of the Cowboys’ rookies this season.

He can’t be a bust, but he is just another reach.

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Mac Engel is an award-winning columnist who has extensive experience covering Fort Worth-Dallas area sports for 20 years. He has covered high schools, colleges, all four major sports teams as well as Olympic games and the world of entertainment, too. He combines dry wit with first-person reporting to complement a head of hair that is almost unfair.
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