The Dallas Cowboys knew there were concerns regarding defensive tackle Trysten Hill when they drafted him out of the University of Central Florida with the 58th overall pick.
Head coach Jason Garrett said the team did its homework by making calls and getting to the bottom of Hill’s issues with coaches and his ensuing loss of a starting role.
Now owner Jerry Jones is doing the same, standing behind the Cowboy’s pick and insisting he doesn’t have any concerns in regard to Hill.
Hill fell out of favor with UCF coaches
The 6-foot-3, 308-pound lineman started all 13 games in each season he played under head coach Scott Frost, the second of which the Golden Knights went undefeated. When Frost left for Nebraska, Hill had public disagreements with the new coaching staff under Josh Heupel and started one game. He skipped his senior season to enter the draft.
Jones: ‘We took all that into account’
Jones told reporters during a groundbreaking of the Gene and Jerry Jones Family Hope Lodge for cancer patients and caretakers in North Texas that he does not have concerns about picking Hill.
“When you have a change in a coaching staff, especially when you have one at that critical juncture, when you’re getting ready to finish your college career, that’s like losing a parent to some degree.
“That’s quite an adjustment for anyone. We took all that into account.”
Hill will have a chance to start early in the season. He joins returning starters Tyrone Crawford, Maliek Collins, Antwaun Woods and DeMarcus Lawrence on the line.
The Cowboys defense ranked ninth in the league in DVOA (defense-adjusted over average), per Football Outsiders, and 11th in weighted defense, which better reflects how a defense performed at the end of the season. The rush was ranked fifth and the pass ranked 16th.
Hill reportedly agreed to work ethic contract
Defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli said the Cowboys staff felt “very comfortable” with Hill. The two built a relationship prior to the draft, including a conversation initiated by Hill “just to talk,” per USA Today.
Hill and Marinelli reportedly agreed to a “handshake deal” on a “work ethic contract” prior to the draft. Marinelli told Dallas media it’s a deal he makes with all his players about how the squad plays and what is expected of them.
“I said to him, ‘If it doesn’t fit you, tell me now, because you will not be happy here. I told him to keep it, and he said, ‘Coach, I feel great about this.’”
Hearing of a draft pick agreeing before being selected is a first. Asking to agree to terms before being drafted is not allowed, not binding and in violation of the Collective Bargaining Agreement.
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