DALLAS — Jerry Jones is a believer in some of the teachings of Tom Landry, even though one of his first acts as owner was to fire the Hall of Fame coach.
When Jones visited with 105.3 "The Fan" on Aug. 21, he shared Landry's rule when it came to young defensive linemen.
"I had heard Tom Landry say don't ever, ever make a crisp, hard decision, especially on a defensive lineman, until three years from the time they leave college," Jones said. "You might get surprised. You might go where you should have not gone in a decision."
Of course, the last time Jones reminded fans and media about Landry's rule was in mid-September last season when they waived former 2017 first-round defensive end Taco Charlton.
As Jones aggregates Landry's wisdom this time around, the subject at hand, defensive tackle Trysten Hill, is impressing the stakeholders when it comes to roster construction.
"Trysten Hill has been doing some really good things," defensive line coach Jim Tomsula said.
According to Tomsula, Hill is always a threat to ask questions, and the medium doesn't matter. If the former 2019 second-round pick needs to access critical information in order to grow as a pro, he will hound Tomsula.
"Just really been impressed with Trysten and the type of work mentally and physically, how hard he's working in the meeting rooms, the questions, the phone calls, the texts, him swinging back by the office at night," Tomsula said. "Ask him a question, have him look at a clip of tape. Shoot, when you see him walking around the hallways right now, his head is buried in his iPad and he's watching reps of film."
The former Central Florida product played in only seven games last year, collecting five tackles and a tackle for loss. Hill was a constant target of former defensive line coach Rod Marinelli's "tough love."
"You know, just sometimes it's hard on rookies and what they have to go through to get on the field," Cowboys COO Stephen Jones told "The Fan" Monday. "Some are able to get it done and digest it and do it. But sometimes Rod can give them some tough love, and sometimes some players don't respond as well to the tough love."
With a new coaching staff led by Mike McCarthy, the Cowboys' approach to the defensive tackle position was to throw as many resources at the position as possible.
Dallas signed Dontari Poe and Gerald McCoy in free agency and spent a third-round pick on Neville Gallimore from Oklahoma. The Cowboys even brought back Antwaun Woods as an exclusive rights free agent.
When McCoy went down with a ruptured quadriceps, the opportunity opened for Hill to claim a role along the interior defensive line.
"I know he was inactive some and was limited on his play time when he was active, but boy, he has really come along and certainly with Gerald going down has stepped into that role, and so far has put one really good practice after the other the last few days," Jones said.
If Hill can develop into an effective tackle for the Cowboys, it will provide them with much needed pressure from the interior that would complement their supreme edge rushers in Everson Griffen and DeMarcus Lawrence.
Do you think Trysten Hill will be able to become a real contributor under new coaches? Share your thoughts with Mark on Twitter @therealmarklane.