IRVING, Texas – It took roughly a month, but the Cowboys brought back another of their key free agents on Monday afternoon.
The team signed versatile defensive end Jack Crawford to a one-year contract, securing his services for a third-straight season after he was acquired prior to the start of the 2014 campaign. The terms of the deal are currently unavailable.
Crawford has mainly been used as a role player during his time in Dallas. He appeared in just six games and posted two sacks in 2014 – before his season was cut short by injury. In 2015, he appeared in all 16 games with one start, notching four sacks in the process.
Those numbers might not jump off the page, but Crawford's ability to shift between defensive end and defensive tackle made him a valuable piece of the Cowboys' defensive line rotation. On top of that, he's sure to come at a significantly more affordable price than other options on the market.
It didn't look like a guarantee that the four-year veteran would extend his stay with the Cowboys. After a quiet start to the free agency period, Crawford took visits with the Pittsburgh Steelers and New York Jets last week. His decision to re-sign in Dallas gives the Cowboys three free agency additions to their pass rush, along with defensive end Benson Mayowa and defensive tackle Cedric Thornton.
Crawford spent the first two years of his career in Oakland after being drafted in the fifth round by the Raiders in 2012. Originally from London, England, he was a two-time all-conference selection with Penn State. He notched 18 tackles in 19 career games with the Raiders before his release in August 2014.
The decision to re-sign Crawford also further bolsters the Cowboys' stated strategy of re-signing their own free agents. Since the start of free agency on March 9, the Cowboys have brought back nine of their free agents from the 2015 campaign. They re-signed Rolando McClain, Morris Claiborne, Charles Brown, Kyle Wilber and James Hanna at the outset of free agency. In the weeks since they have retained Lance Dunbar and Crawford. They also extended tenders to restricted free agents Ron Leary and Jeff Heath.