When it came time for the Cowboys to make their first pick in the 2019 draft, they found themselves with a choice. Safeties Juan Thornhill and Taylor Rapp, pass rusher Jaylon Ferguson and defensive tackle Trysten Hill all were on the board for Dallas at No. 58.
Cowboys secondary coach Kris Richard cast his vote for Hill, which is who the team selected.
“This game is won up front. It’s a big man’s game,” Richard explained. “When you’re able to get a player like the one that we got with Trysten, he’s got like generational-type athleticism, just freakish ability in regards to his athleticism. It’s hard to pass on a guy of that nature.”
Hill made 71 tackles, 20 tackles for loss and six sacks in his career at Central Florida. He is the best under tackle that defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli has had in Dallas.
Still the team’s selection of Hill seemingly leaves a hole on the back end of the Cowboys’ defense.
The Cowboys signed veteran George Iloka and drafted Donovan Wilson on the third day to compete with Jeff Heath for the starting strong safety job. Despite not upgrading the position like the Cowboys had hoped, Richard believes he has enough to work with at the position.
“We’ve got guys that can play, and that’s first and foremost,” Richard said. “We’ve got guys who can play everywhere. It’s hard to pass big for little. Very difficult. You’d much prefer to have the bigger man than the smaller man because it’s a big man’s game. Needless to say, we’ve got guys in the secondary who can play.”