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Star Evaluation: Crawford Has Fought Through Injuries To Show Versatility

The roster turnover is about to begin. Free agency has now begun and and the 2017 NFL Draft isn't far away. Over the next few weeks, the Cowboys will lose and replace a sizable portion of their roster.

For every new face, however, there are dozens of familiar ones who will return to begin a new campaign. From established veterans to second-year players, the vast majority of the Cowboys' 2017 team is already on the roster. In the coming weeks, the staff of will preview those players, analyzing where they've been and where they're going.

Today we'll continue the series with defensive end Tyrone Crawford.  

What's Been Good:The simple fact Crawford has the ability to play multiple positions on the line suggests his value to the team. While it's simple to call him strictly a defensive tackle but that is designated position, Crawford also spent time at defensive end last year to help the Cowvobys' pass-rushing needs. Crawford made some plays in 2016 at timely moments. While he was third on the defense with 4.5 sacks, Crawford also ranked second in quarterback pressures with 17. He's been a core defensive player who has a legitimate chance to become even a captain this next year with Barry Church moving on. Crawford has the ability and mental makeup to take that next step.

What's Been Bad: Injuries have piled up for Crawford over the past couple of years, including late last season when missed two games and was banged up for several others. Had the Cowboys not wrapped up home-field throughout the playoffs the last two weeks, Crawford might have played in all of the games. So he does manage to fight through the setbacks, they have been existent here of late. As for his overall production, Crawford has been a good player but considering his contract pays him as the ninth-highest paid tackle at his position, there should be probably be more production than just 4.5 sacks and 21 tackles. However, let's not forget Crawford moved back and forth last year from end to tackle.[embeddedad0]

2016 Highlight: Against the Eagles midway through the season, Crawford helped the Cowboys' defense rally back to a dramatic overtime win. Crawford registered a season high 1.5 sacks along with two tackles for loss.

What's Next:While it's expected that Crawford will return to his tackle position after he has fully recovered from surgery, but let's see how free agency and the draft plays out. The Cowboys are hopeful DeMarcus Lawrence and Charles Tapper come back from injuries. David Irving has some position flex but was dominant at times at end. There should be chances for Crawford to play tackle, especially with the recent departures of Jack Crawford and Terrell McClain. There were certainly be a role for Tyrone Crawford, but the exact position is still to be determined.

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