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Roster Rundown: Crawford Should Be Even Better Fit In 4-3

Posted Feb 11, 2013

(Editor's Note: Throughout the off-season, DallasCowboys.com staff writers will take a closer look at the roster, analyzing players’ impact last season and how each fits into the team's 2013 plans. Today's Roster Rundown entry features defensive end Tyrone Crawford.)

Name: Tyrone Crawford
Position: Defensive End
Height/Weight: 6-4 / 285
Experience: 1 season
College: Boise State

Key stat: Playing somewhat of a new position at end in a 3-4 scheme, Crawford managed 33 tackles, just two behind veteran Marcus Spears.

Contract Status: Signed through 2015.

2012 Impact: It was very early in training camp while in Oxnard that I believed Tyrone Crawford would be a nice addition to the defensive line rotation. There were days where you observed the work of then defensive line coach Brian Baker that gave you indications Crawford was taking to the coaching in a positive way. He showed some natural traits. There were days where he gave Tyron Smith and Doug Free problems with his pass rush. Before the draft on college tape, I remember studying his game and coming away impressed with his ability to play with technique while all the time working his way up the field as a pass rusher. There was quickness to his game but more importantly there was some power as well. Usually with

rookie defensive linemen, you don’t always see that. Baker really did a nice job with Crawford and each game you could see his game improve the more chances he received. Where Crawford was able to make his mark was in that he could actually play a couple of different positions whether that was as an end but he could also work inside as a nickel tackle. Off the bench he was a nice option to play some quality snaps when the veteran players could not answer the bell.

Where He Fits: Believe that you will see Crawford line up as the left defensive end in this 4-3 scheme of Monte Kiffin. He will take this off season, work on his weight training and develop some more strength and power to play at the point of attack. In this defense, you want linemen that can get up the field in a hurry and Crawford can do that. He is the perfect size to handle that role, plus for such a young guy he plays with really nice technique that could develop into an every down player for this team. I really do believe that this 4-3 scheme and Rod Marinelli coaching him that this will be a better fit for Crawford than what he did in the 3-4.


Writers' Analysis:

Nick Eatman:When he was drafted last April – in the third round – it almost seemed like an identical situation to six years earlier when the Cowboys took Jason Hatcher. While Crawford was less of a project coming from a bigger school that faces better competition, he had the same build and same size as

Hatcher. And after one year, it’s still a similar comparison. Crawford’s first year was decent for a rookie – 33 tackles and five QB pressures. He didn’t have a huge impact with no sacks or tackles for loss. Hatcher’s rookie season saw just 13 tackles, but did get 2.5 sacks. The point is, Crawford had a nice start and should get much better. This 4-3 switch could him back into a natural fit for him at end.

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