IRVING, Texas – One of the biggest proponents for the switch to the 4-3 defense was
He thinks it’s a more natural and comfortable fit for him after going through a rookie season in the 3-4 defense that he wasn’t pleased with.
“I felt like I had more in me,” Crawford said. “I could have made a lot more plays and helped this team out a lot more, this defense out a lot more.”
Crawford finished with 20 combined tackles last season, including five against Washington in Week 12. That was all as an end in the 3-4 defense. He’ll stick at defensive end in the new scheme with Rod Marinelli, but it’s a night and day difference from last season.
His weight was around the 300-pound mark last season, as he had to take on blocks and plug up room in the running game. He’s been asked to trim down, and he’s now stands at around 285 pounds.
“I was playing inside last year playing against a guard,” he said. “Now playing against a tackle every time or a tight end and a tackle, yeah, the tight end is not as heavy as the guard.”
Crawford said he feels comfortable for more reasons than the scheme switch. He now knows what he’s getting into this season in his second year in the NFL. He said he’s glad he’s gotten past the various stresses of being a rookie in the NFL and he’s ready to play wherever called upon on the line.
“Whatever they need,” he said. “I can move down to tackle if they need it. But I see myself, as long as we stay healthy on the inside, I see myself being outside.”