Canadian Tyrone Crawford is poised to become a starter for the Dallas Cowboys.
A pair of high profile Dallas Cowboys analysts report that Tyrone Crawford, a 6-foot-4, 285-pound defensive end from Windsor, Ontario, is well positioned to become a starter in Dallas, perhaps as early as this season.
Crawford, who played collegiately with the Boise State Broncos, was chosen in the second round of the 2012 NFL draft by the Cowboys.
Football Analyst and Scout Bryan Broaddus writes the following in a dallascowboys.com blog:
“There is truly a physical difference in how Tyrone Crawford has approached this season. He has added solid weight to his frame without losing the quickness that he showed during the 2012 season. I remember in training camp than defensive line coach Brian Baker really grinding on him about developing his technique. Crawford seemed to pick up on things very quickly and was given more and more opportunities to play in special packages for Rob Ryan and he made the best of them. When the scheme changed with the coaching staff, I was trying to figure out where Crawford might be the best fit and strong side defensive end seemed to be a logical spot or maybe even as a one technique. The one thing that I have learned over the years when I was a scout and these coaches were in Tampa that their defensive linemen were always attacking up the field from both the defensive tackle and end spots so Crawford was a natural fit because this was the style of defense that he played at Boise. Where Crawford has made a great deal of progress is in his upper body strength. You can see power when he rushes off the left end and when he extends his arm into the tackle and he is able to control the blocker while he is going up field getting the corner. There were also times where he was used on the twist from the outside, coming inside and he spilt the block of Frederick and Leary. He has done a nice job of when the ball comes to his side against the zone block and held up well at the point. He is a stronger player than Wilber who was playing on the opposite side but those are two nice young backups to Ware and Spencer on the outside.”
ESPNDallas.com’s Calvin Watkins shares Broaddus’ view of the Catholic Central High School student’s progress in the following blog:
“The Cowboys’ projected starting defensive line is Anthony Spencer, Jason Hatcher, Jay Ratliff and DeMarcus Ware.
Three of the four starters — Hatcher, Ratliff and Ware — are in their 30s, and Spencer and Hatcher are entering the final year of their contracts. At some point, the Cowboys will have to get younger or give Hatcher and/or Spencer a new contract.
One projected future starter is defensive end/tackle Tyrone Crawford, a third-round pick in 2012.
Crawford has a chance to become a starter — maybe not this year, but in the future — given the contract and age status of the defensive line.
“For me and every single guy on the defensive line, they will tell me and even the vets like Hatch and Rat, go into every year trying to be a starter,” Crawford said. “That’s what I do every year, even if I don’t get the starting spot. I’m playing like a starter when I’m on second string. We all have big roles. If we can fill those roles this year like we’re starters (playing) on the second string, we might have one of the best defensive line in the NFL.”
Crawford was drafted as a defensive end, but in this new 4-3 scheme, defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin is asking him to play end and tackle. Crawford said everybody on the defensive line has to know all the spots.
“With this defense, there’s not really a challenge not knowing your assignment,” Crawford said. “You pretty much have to know everybody’s assignment.”
And Crawford likes what defensive line coach Rod Marinelli is doing with the defensive line. He’s taken the sign down outside the defensive line room and changed it from defensive linemen to “rushmen.”
“I like what were doing with it,” Crawford said. “We don’t have a D-line room anymore. We’re all rushmen. We’re all fast guys.”