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T.Y. Hilton is 'Ready': 'Defenses Have to Respect Me' 


The four-time Pro Bowler nearly made his debut for the Cowboys against the Jaguars, and if he gets the nod against the Eagles, he's locked and loaded to contribute immediately

FRISCO, TX — T.Y. Hilton landed in North Texas on Monday of last week, signing with the Dallas Cowboys just ahead of their preparation for the Jacksonville Jaguars. But while he impressed in his ability to quickly pick up most of the playbook, and also his continued ability to run routes and put his speed on display, the four-time Pro Bowler didn't debut in Week 14.

The decision ultimately went down to the wire, but the Cowboys coaching staff notified Hilton just ahead of game time — when they submitted the list of inactives 90 minutes prior — that he'd be held out of the contest with an eye on likely making his 2022 debut against the visiting Philadelphia Eagles on Christmas Eve. 

And though that decision remains unofficial as well, for now, Hilton is raring to go.

"Right now, I feel good," said Hilton on Tuesday. "I got the offense down pat. I've been studying 10 hours a day, so I got that down. I feel good."

It's a short week for the Cowboys, who played on Sunday and must quickly ready themselves for a Saturday bout against the league-leading Eagles, followed by an even shorter week thereafter when they must visit Tennessee to take on the Titans in primetime on Thursday night.

With only three games remaining in the regular season to get Hilton fully acclimated, the sooner he is thrown into the mix, the better.

"I'm just gonna continue to grind," he said. "I'm gonna continue to get better, and when my number is called, I'll be ready. … I'm [trying] to show y'all that I'm still here."

He recognizes and respects the coaching decision in Jacksonville, considering the amount of information he was asked to process last week — in addition to the logistics of literally making the move to Dallas with his family — though he's also confident the Jaguars would've had more trouble stopping the Cowboys offense if he was in uniform.

"Absolutely, just my presence," he said. "You have to respect me. You have to account for me."

Accounting for him, in Hilton's words, also means understanding his age (33) hasn't caused him to lose speed.

"I can still run so if you think you're just gonna come up there and play press man-to-man and not get ran by, then you're crazy."

To his point, in his legendary time with the Colts, he was nicknamed "The Ghost" for a reason.

"[It's] me being next to you, and then I'm gone," said Hilton.

It goes without saying that any additional weaponry the Cowboys can throw at the 13-1 Eagles would increase their odds for success, and that's exactly what the team signed Hilton to be:

Another weapon.

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