(Editor's Note: With free agency beginning March 9, the DallasCowboys.com staff is forecasting the future for five Cowboys currently set to hit the open market. Part 2 spotlights defensive lineman Jack Crawford, who will be an unrestricted free agent. For the full list of Cowboys free agents, visit our free agency tracker.)
DL Jack Crawford
6-5 / 288
4 NFL Seasons
2015 Impact: 16 games (2 starts); 18 tackles (3 for loss), 10 quarterback pressures, 4 sacks, 1 pass breakup
Nick: He seriously might be the Cowboys' highest priority in free agency. Obviously, it doesn't mean he'll get the richest contract but right now, I think I would make sure and get him re-signed. With the questions this team has across the line, with offseason injuries to Lawrence and Tyrone Crawford, and then Mincey, Hardy and Hayden being unrestricted, the Cowboys need some kind of familiarity. And that's not even including Gregory. Crawford is one of the more versatile players on the team. He played all four spots across the line and with that alone, it's worth re-signing. But he knows that, too and he might not come as cheap as people might think. Still, he'd be my top choice for the Cowboys to bring back, based on their situation on the D-line.
Rob: In free agency teams are usually rewarding players for what they've done in the past. Jack Crawford did well with a smaller sample size – he played 46 percent of the Cowboys' defensive snaps – so what's his market value if projecting a potentially larger role? Attempting to re-sign Crawford makes sense for the Cowboys, not only because they're short on defensive linemen under contract, but he's only 27 and can play multiple spots in Rod Marinelli's rotation. As Nick said, finding the right salary number will be interesting, but I would expect Crawford to be a priority for this team.
David:Jack Crawford represents a great combination of favorable factors for the Cowboys. What I mean by that is he's been a productive player during his time here – six sacks in less than two seasons – but not so productive that he's a highly-prized name. I'm not sure I want Crawford starting games in 2016, but he's a good player and a valuable member of any rotation. The thing that concerns me is the unpredictable nature of the free agent market. All it takes is a team with deep pockets to overvalue Crawford's abilities, and he'll be on the first flight out of Dallas for a larger contract. This team needs defensive ends, and I think they should be able to come to a favorable agreement with Crawford. Given the type of money that tends to get thrown around in March, though, they need to be careful of overspending.[embeddedad0]
Bryan: Appears to have found his niche as backup in the eight-man rotation along the defensive line. Hard working and driven. Coaches can trust him to play any one of the positions on the front. Type of player that comes to work every day ready to go. Big-time character. Outstanding upper and lower body strength. If there is an area that he struggles in, he doesn't really bend all that well and you can see it especially when he is working to capture the edge. Can tell that he really isn't a great athlete and there is some stiffness in the way that he plays. Overcomes many of his shortcomings with his effort and desire. Needs to find a way to stay healthy. Tends to get banged up then lost for the season. My feeling is that he does everything asked of him and a little more. Can see the coaches asking the front office to bring him back and I believe that gets taken care of. The fact that he can play any spot in the defensive line and play well makes him a real plus.