IRVING, Texas – As expected, the Cowboys moved DeMarcus Lawrence to short-term injured reserve on Tuesday. The team signed defensive end Jack Crawford, who was released during Oakland's roster cuts, in Lawrence's place.
According to NFL rules, each club may use the IR/designated to return tag on one player per season. Lawrence may begin practicing with the team after Week 6, and he is eligible to return to the active roster after Week 8. The second-round pick, taken No. 34 overall in May, broke his foot during a training [embedded_ad] camp practice on July 29.
The Cowboys used the tag on Matt Johnson in 2012 and Edgar Jones in 2013.
Crawford comes to the Cowboys after the Raiders selected him in the fifth round of the 2012 draft. He appeared in 19 games in his first two years and made 18 tackles. He was a third-stringer on the Raiders' defensive depth chart before his release during the weekend.
This move is the latest in a series of efforts to get the defensive line ready for the season opener against San Francisco. When the Cowboys made their final roster cuts, two defensive ends – Lawrence and Anthony Spencer – were on the roster despite not being ready for Week 1.
Spencer remains on the 53-man roster as he progresses back from microfracture knee surgery, but the addition of Crawford gives the Cowboys five defensive ends who can play on Sunday. The front office also traded a draft pick to the Titans for Lavar Edwards, a 2013 fifth-round draft pick out of LSU.
The hope is for the duo of Edwards and Crawford to join Jeremy Mincey, George Selvie and Tyrone Crawford as the Cowboys' edge rusher against the 49ers.