What Role Will Veteran Tyrone Crawford Play In 2017?

Tyrone Crawford

When we take a look into the defensive linemen for the Cowboys’ we see they have plenty of bodies along the line. Whether it’s David Irving, Benson Mayowa, or DeMarcus Lawrence a lot of these guys can play multiple positions along the defensive line. The one guy who may have the most flexibility is Tyrone Crawford.

Tyrone Crawford is going into year three of his five year, $45,000,000 contract with the Dallas Cowboys. When Tyrone Crawford signed his contract extension with the Dallas Cowboys in 2015 the team had high hopes that Crawford would be a dominant player for their defense. While he has been serviceable he has also been far from dominant.

In his five years in the league and with the Dallas Cowboys, Tyrone Crawford has raked up 12.5 sacks and 77 tackles in 61 career games. While that is nothing to write home about, it’s also nothing to shake a stick at either. Crawford has been banged up throughout his career with the Cowboys. When healthy he is one of the better players along the defensive line, but that’s the thing, he is rarely at full strength. In 2016 alone he dealt with multiple injuries to his shoulder and back that kept him out of practices and limited his level of play in games. Crawford has had multiple surgeries in his career and sooner or later that will catch up to you.

With that being said, it’s not all negative with #98. Crawford is a leader of the defense and brings a veteran presence to the locker room. He also has come up with clutch plays over his career. In 2016 in week two against the Washington Redskins he came up with a huge sack late in the 4th quarter on Kirk Cousins to all but spoil the Redskins comeback attempt.

While he deals with his fair share of injuries and sometimes criticism for disappearing at times in games or sometimes even throughout the season, no player along the Cowboys defensive line has the flexibility that Crawford has. In his career, he has played left end, right end, 3 technique, and even some 1 technique. Having a player that can play on the outside and play with speed and good technique to get his sacks is great. When you match that with the same guy who can play with the amount of strength and discipline to play inside like Crawford does it just makes the deal so much sweeter.

Fans like to look at the former Boise State Broncos contract and compare it to his production and criticize the player and even the team at time, but they fail to realize what Crawford brings to the table with his leadership qualities and the flexibility to play all four positions along the line. Tyrone Crawford is by no means a dominant starting caliber player for the Dallas Cowboys, but he is very important to the team and making the defense work. I have a feeling 2017 may be Crawford’s best season yet as he’ll take on more of a leadership role on this team now, more than ever.

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