IRVING, Texas – With the season opener approaching on Sunday, the Cowboys are obviously expecting big things from Tyrone Crawford – not only this year, but several years to come.
The club has been working on a new deal for the defensive tackle and it appears both sides could come to an agreement this weekend – even before Sunday night's kickoff at AT&T Stadium.
"I think everybody knows how much I love Dallas, love this team, love the organization and love the ownership," Crawford said Friday. "My agents are working on it right now. I'm just letting them do their job."
Crawford is in the final year of his four-year contract and currently has a base salary of $675,000 and counts just $828,813 on the salary cap.
It has long been rumored that the Cowboys might be working on extending Crawford before he enters his contract year, and team executive vice president Stephen Jones confirmed Friday that conversations have been ongoing. But Jones added that it remains to be seen if anything will get done before Dallas hosts the New York Giants on Sunday evening.
"We're working on it," he said. "Obviously, when you get involved in a negotiation like this, you'd like to hope that – the players do and we do too – like to get the done before the season starts. That's always the goal, but we'll see."
While the Cowboys obviously want to lock Crawford up now, the defensive tackles understands that a larger payday could be looming if he has the kind of season that is expected.
"Definitely, it's tough for anybody," Crawford said of the decision to get a deal now. "It's always in your head. But like I said, if it fits, it fits. That's how it's going to go."
[embeddedad0]Crawford said this contract negotiation will not and has not affected his preparation for Sunday.
"No, not at all," he said. "We did all of this talk with my agents beforehand, before training camp. We pretty much had an understanding of each other. My agents knew where my mind was at, they don't have to contact me much.
"I feel like I've been raised … everything happens for a reason. If we get it during the season, it's happening for a reason. I have a lot of faith in God. I feel like his plan is what I'm supposed to do. Whatever happens, happens."
But it does sound like something big is about to happen for the Cowboys' fourth-year lineman.