Windsor’s Tyrone Crawford has earned one of the most important jobs on the Cowboys defense.
In Defensive Coordinator Rod Marinelli’s defense, the “under tackle” (also called the 3-technique) is the engine.
Crawford, who was coming off an injury, moved to the position last season to be Henry Melton’s backup. He excelled while learning on the fly – recording three sacks, 29 quarterback pressures and four tackles for loss – eventually taking the job from Melton.
As the Dallas Star Telegram’s Charean Williams writes, Crawford “now stands as one of the defensive linemen the Cowboys are counting on after letting Melton go.”
Williams points out that Crawford’s off-season work has revolved around becoming a better 3-technique instead of trying to figure out where he’s going to play next season.
“I changed up the way I work out, the different things I can do, different things I can focus on knowing where I’m going to be,” Crawford told Williams “It’s good for me. I’ve worked out to the position, so I’ve worked out working quicker rushes, inside rushes. I know what I do now. So, that’s just how I worked out in the off-season, just the things that I do for tackle, working on them a lot more. Repping them out.”
ESPN’s Todd Archer reports that earning the job couldn’t have come at a better time for the Windsor native. Crawford is set to make $675,000 in the final year of his rookie contract and will be a free agent after this season.
Archer points out that the Cowboys have a long history of doing long-term deals with players they believe to be cornerstone parts of their team (he points to Shawn Lee and Tyron Smits as recent examples).
Not many predicted that the former OVFL Essex Raven would be in this position after missing 2013 with a torn Achilles.
“In order to get him to sign an extension and take himself off what will be his best chance of hitting the open market next winter, the Cowboys will have to offer big money but not so big that it swells the curve for future deals,” writes Archer. “Getting to that number could prove tricky, but as a former third-round pick, Crawford might have to decide whether to make great money now is worth passing only possible super money later if he has the type of 2015 season the Cowboys expect.”