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Injuries Could Open Door For Crawford, Young D-Linemen

IRVING, Texas – Defensive end Tyrone Crawford's role with the Cowboys continues to increase, and with injuries to defensive tackles Marcus Spears and Kenyon Coleman, it should only keep growing.

Crawford was on the field for seven more plays against the Seahawks than he was against the Giants, jumping from five percent participation in New York to 15 percent in Seattle. With Spears and Coleman out and nose tackle Jay Ratliff still nursing a high-ankle sprain, Crawford said he's ready for any intensified role on defense.

"My preparation's been getting better week to week, film preparation and everything," Crawford said. "I know the plays already, but I'll go over them and over them and over them every night just to make sure when I get the call I can go out there and play. I like how I do it and I feel like I'm ready."

Crawford admitted the talent level is even greater than he expected in the NFL. He finished with just one combined tackle against the Seahawks, but the third round pick said he leaves each practice and each game a better player, and he's anxious to see the player he can become with more time.

"Even on my day off, we come in here, we get some work in," Crawford said. "I try and put everything together, focus up and go out there for a couple of hours with whoever's here."

Even practice squad defensive end Ben Bass is preparing for the possibility of being activated. Two of the Cowboys' six active defensive linemen from last week aren't practicing, leaving Sean Lissemore, Josh Brent, Jason Hatcher and Crawford as the only healthy linemen left.

Bass said he assumes Spears will play this week, but he was told by Spears on Tuesday that he could be activated if Spears can't go. Bass said any scenario is conceivable this early in the week.

"I guess it's a possibility that I could get activated, that way they can keep six and keep guys fresh," Bass said. "But as of right now, they told us in practice they're just going to roll with five. But anything can happen."

Bass said he's not going to worry about whether or not he dresses this weekend. So far, no Cowboys practice squad player has been brought up to the active roster. Running back Lance Dunbar made the trip to New York but was never activated. 

"What I've done is I've taken it upon myself to go hard in practice and prepare myself as if I'm going to play this week, so whenever it happens, it happens," Bass said.

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