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Mailbag: Should Tyrone Crawford Play At DE? Shuffling The Offensive Line?

There's been a lot of talk about the DE position and moving Tyrone Crawford while Gregory and Lawrence are out. Nobody seems to talk about Jack Crawford in the mix with Irving, Mayowa, Russell, and now Tapper in the rotation. With his experience in the system, do you think he will be an impact player on the edge?

David: Maybe I'm just an optimist, but I don't see the need to move Crawford to end. Early in his career, he was an OK defensive end. He's been much better at defensive tackle. I'd rather he play at his best position and let all the guys you mentioned handle the outside.

Rob:I've mentioned Crawford as a textbook Rod Marinelli rotation player. He can play all four positions, though he's best suited for defensive end or the three-technique. He had four sacks last year playing less than half the snaps, and while I wouldn't expect him to strictly play on the edge, he certainly will be part of the group you mentioned.

Is La'el Collins really that much better (if at all) than Leary, or is it just a case of getting younger and spending less money? Also if that is the case, why not keep Leary and have Collins play right tackle and get even younger still?

David: I'm not sure that Collins was that much better than Leary when he won the job, but his upside is so much higher. Given a full offseason to practice and develop, I give Collins a big edge. To your second point, I think Collins is definitely athletic enough to play tackle, but I like the power aspect of his game a lot for the interior of this line. On top of that, I'd like to see what the Cowboys have in Chaz Green before I worry about moving La'el.

Rob:Well, Leary is the more experienced player – and Collins has big-time upside. Collins didn't play guard full time at LSU, and the Cowboys decided at midseason it was time to give him the snaps he needed to develop. I think there's a sense that guard is the best position for Collins to utilize his power, where he doesn't have to be in space as much. The hope is he makes a huge improvement in Year Two after getting 11 starts as a rookie.


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