Cowboys News: 2nd-Round Draft Pick Trysten Hill Agreed to 'Work Ethic Contract'

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistApril 27, 2019

UCF defensive lineman Trysten Hill (9) during the Fiesta Bowl NCAA college football game against LSU, Tuesday, Jan. 1, 2019, in Glendale, AZ. (AP Photo/Rick Scuteri)
Rick Scuteri/Associated Press

Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Trysten Hill agreed to an informal "work ethic contract" with Cowboys defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli before the franchise selected him out of UCF in the second round of the 2019 NFL draft Friday night.

Marinelli told reporters it's a pact with all the team's defensive linemen and is not at all related to outsider concerns about his "football character and maturity."

"I do this with every guy from a free agent to a draft pick, just my own copy of it, back and forth, front and back. It talks about how we play, what I ask of you in practice, day of games, all of it. I am very clear of it. 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.'

"It's just about how you play. It's a lot of different things, but how you carry yourself, how you play in our system. The effort and the want to, every snap. We're unique that way—how hard we practice and play. I usually see that on film early with guys. He really plays hard. If you watch his tape, he really hustles. That's the passion we want in these guys."

Yahoo Sports' Eric Edholm clarified that it was a "handshake deal."

Hill tallied 36 total tackles, including 10.5 tackles for loss, and three sacks across 12 appearances for the Knights during his junior season in 2018.

But he started only one game, raising questions about why one of UCF's most talented defenders wasn't on the field consistently.

In December, Chris Hays of the Orlando Sentinel reported the Florida native "started to gain a reputation, deserving or not, for being lazy and having attitude issues" during his sophomore season in 2017. Then he lost his starting spot when Josh Heupel took over the program from Scott Frost before the 2018 season.

"And then having things happen … and having the coaching change happen and how some people started to spell it out in different ways about me in different situations and stuff like that," Hill said. "But I don't feel like I got a bad rap. I just feel like some people didn't really support me the way they should have."

He mentioned Frost and his staff while declaring for the draft in early January, but he didn't mention Heupel or his staff, furthering the belief a schism had developed.

Looking ahead, Hill should provide depth for the Cowboys behind Maliek Collins and Tyrone Crawford at defensive tackle as a rookie.

He possesses the potential to eventually become a three-down starter for Dallas up front. That could happen as early as 2020 with Collins being a potential unrestricted free agent after next season.


The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.