OXNARD, Calif. – It's a stark change for such a vocal leader, but Tyrone Crawford has mostly been seen and not heard on the practice fields this year.
That's probably because Crawford isn't practicing yet, as he continues to rehab his way through a hip injury.
"Rehab is going good, just been getting my hip right," Crawford said Wednesday. "I have a gluteus medius problem, but I'm fixing that up and just getting right. Getting ready to get back, explosive, powerful, ready to go."
Without seeing him play a single snap of football, Crawford definitely looks more powerful. The veteran pass rusher reconditioned his body to play defensive end two years ago. But even still, Crawford reported to training camp this summer looking – well, bigger. That's a fact he attributed to being more available to work with strength and conditioning coach Mike Woicik.
"I guess I've had more time to lift, more time to stay with Coach Woicik and get my body right in that aspect," he said. "He's been helping me with my glute strength and stuff like that, as well – the things I need to focus on rehab-wise. We've been hitting it pretty hard in the weight room. It's been helping that way, my leg strength is stronger than it's ever been, upper body strength is stronger than it's ever been."
The question is obviously when that will translate to the football field. Crawford is still on the Physically Unable to Perform list, alongside DeMarcus Lawrence and Byron Jones. And while there have been plenty of updates on the first two members of that list, it remains unclear what Crawford's timetable looks like.
"I'm kind of leaving that in the trainers' hands," he said. "They're telling me what to do daily, but I think it's around the same time as D, or a little bit before that."
Curious Cowboys fans can take heart. From the sounds of it, Crawford is on schedule to return to practice sooner rather than later. With the team returning to The Star following this weekend's trip to Honolulu, it seems like Crawford will be one of several players to mix into these upcoming two weeks of training camp in Texas.
Judging from the work he has put into his rehab, Crawford will be ready when that opportunity comes.
"We've been working hard, and obviously we have to be in shape to get back in a short period of time," he said. "We've been pushing ourselves extra hard to make sure that's possible."