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Film Review: Cowboys Need More From Tyrone Crawford

Kevin Brady

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Cowboys Headlines - Spending on Defensive End is a MUST 1

Going into the season opener, Dallas Cowboys fans had serious reasons to be concerned about the depth and talent in their favorite team's front seven.

Despite all of the clear problems, there were a few players who have been constant strong points over the last few seasons. Defensive tackle Tyrone Crawford is one of them, or at least, we expected him to be.

It's simple, the Cowboys need more out of Tyrone Crawford.

If they want to be successful defensively at all Crawford must play up to his ability and be a force in the middle of the defense. Especially considering the weak middle linebacker play we saw last Sunday.

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On multiple occasions, Giants running back Rashad Jennings absolutely gashed the Cowboys up the middle. Considering how suspect the Giants offense line had been during the preseason, this gashing should have never happened.

Outside of the poor linebacker play the Cowboys got from Justin Durant and Anthony Hitchens, Tyrone Crawford was the main culprit of this weak run defense.

In the play above you see Crawford take on the double team, and get absolutely blown back off the ball. He doesn't have to split it or even make the play, but he absolutely cannot get blown back like this and blurry the linebackers' vision of the hole.

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A consistent problem I saw when reviewing the film occurred when the Cowboys defensive line decided to slant. Too often, they guessed wrong, and the Giants offensive line was able to just wash Crawford down the line of scrimmage.

It looks way too easy here, but Crawford basically takes himself out of the play before the back even touches the ball.

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Once again Crawford struggles against a combo block here. Mind you, this play occurs during what would become the Giants game winning touchdown drive. Dallas absolutely needed a stop, and yet they continued to give up huge run plays right over their defensive tackles.

Too often, those big plays came right over Tyrone Crawford.

https://gyazo.com/17059524eb96e97b3c19cebecf550d30

Crawford actually slants into the play here, and appears to beat the guard off the ball and get the inside track to beat him across his face and make the play. Though he had a great take-off and solid rip at the point of attack, he cannot finish the play as the guard cuts him off at the last second.

The result, a first down run for the opponent.

This play isn't all on Crawford, of course, but when you slant to the playside and get such a good take-off, you'd like to make the play.

Tyrone Crawford is more than capable of returning to form, however.

In fact, we even saw glimpses of how good Crawford can be during Sunday's game.

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Crawford is asked to slant backside here, but is still able to recover and make the play in the backfield. He reads where the ball is going, gets penetration into the backfield, and fights back over the guard to make the tackle.

Of note, the playside defensive end and linebacker fill the hole and win at the line of scrimmage, allowing Crawford time to recover. Defense is truly a "team unit", and all eleven parts need to work together in order for stops to be made. Too many times, these eleven parts were conflicting, which led to some big offensive plays for the Giants.

Tyrone Crawford needs to be better this Sunday for the Cowboys to get their first victory, and I believe that he will be.


Die-hard Cowboys fan from the Northeast, so you know I am here to defend the 'boys whenever necessary. Began writing for a WordPress Cowboys Blog, and am currently a college student. Lets get going.

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6 Comments
  • Victor Dowell

    Dallas need pass rush help they can’t get 2 the quarterback,pressure on the quarterback.”Defensive Win Championships”When is Jerry going to realize he need a pet bull,rockwiller,king cobra,gorillas on defense,we have a offense that can compete but the Dfense is killing us.

    • https://kevinrobertbrady.wordpress.com Kevin Brady

      The pass rush was certainly lacking. The one sack from Benson Mayowa was mostly the result of great coverage.

  • Mike Young

    It was embarrassing to watch Giants run over DL and most LB’s. 🙁

    • https://kevinrobertbrady.wordpress.com Kevin Brady

      I’m with you, Mike. It sucked to watch. Hopefully Durant and Hitchens can play better and get off blocks this Sunday, or we could be in for another rough week.

  • Mike Young

    By the way thanks for excellent breakdown looking forward to following through out the season. Here’s to better D against the Redskins.

    • https://kevinrobertbrady.wordpress.com Kevin Brady

      Thank you for reading! I can’t wait to break everything down each week for you guys.

Player News

Cowboys Will Tag DeMarcus Lawrence; What’s the Plan?

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Cowboys Planning

February 20 is an important day for NFL clubs this year. Why? It's the first day in which teams can franchise tag any player. Since 2015, when the Dallas Cowboys tagged Dez Bryant before they were able to work out a long-term deal, Jerry Jones & Co. haven't used the franchise tag. In 2018, though, that will change.

DeMarcus Lawrence just played his best season yet in 2017, and he's looking to get paid big time. Through three years, he had been able to rack up nine sacks, 52 tackles and three forced fumbles. In just 2017, he sacked opposing quarterbacks 14.5 times, had 35 tackles and managed to force four fumbles.

Not only did Lawrence look like an elite pass rusher, but he also improved as a run defender a lot. The Cowboys have been looking for a "War Daddy" for a long, long time and Lawrence seems to be the answer for this football team.

After such a big year, one would expect the Cowboys to sign him to a multi-year enormous contract. But there's a catch. Lawrence failed to remain healthy early in his career and really didn't make as much of an impact until last season.

There's no question that D-Law will be wearing a star come the 2018 NFL season, but will he be doing it under a long-term deal or under a franchise tag?

David Moore on Twitter

Cowboys will not place franchise tag on DeMarcus Lawrence tomorrow as that window opens but will do so by March 6 w/ understanding the goal is to reach a long-term deal. Both sides have until July 16 to make that happen.

For now, according to David Moore from Dallas Morning News, the Cowboys will franchise tag Lawrence with the objective of getting a deal done in July. The tag however, is not expected to be placed as soon as possible.

Jess Haynie on Twitter

In 2015, the Cowboys didn't place the franchise tag on Dez Bryant until the final deadline day. This year's deadline is March 6th, so it may be two weeks before they make it official with DeMarcus Lawrence. #CowboysNation #DallasCowboys

What would franchise tagging DeMarcus Lawrence mean for this team?

First of all, they'd make sure he doesn't hit free agency in March. This gives the front office time to get to work and restructure players' contracts if they have to in order to open up as much cap space as they can before giving him a deal.

It's worth mentioning as well, cap savings from players who are designated as post-June 1 cuts will already be available. If you want to be more familiarized with the Cowboys' cap situation, I highly recommend you read John Williams' deep dive on the matter.

It'll continue to be a very interesting story for this offseason, as handing a franchise tag to a player tends to become a non-friendly situation for both parties. Let's hope that's not the case for the Cowboys and Lawrence this year and that everything works out fine.

Here at Inside The Star, we'll continue updating you and the rest of Cowboys Nation throughout the offseason.

Tell me what you think about "Cowboys Will Tag DeMarcus Lawrence; What’s the Plan?" in the comments below, or tweet me @PepoR99 and let’s talk football! If you like football and are looking for a Dallas Cowboys show in Spanish, don’t miss my weekly Facebook Live! show, Primero Cowboys!


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Watch: Cowboys LB Jaylon Smith Goes Bowling for First Time Since College Injury

Sean Martin

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Should Cowboys Start Negotiating a Contract Extension With Rod Smith?

Dallas Cowboys Linebacker Jaylon Smith did not just defy all odds and return to normalcy in 2017, starting as the Cowboys' middle linebacker for a full 16 games. He became one of the team's and NFL's brightest success stories, earning the right to celebrate everyday activities returning to his life - as football did this season.

https://twitter.com/thejaylonsmith/status/964606764619624453

This is exactly what Jaylon Smith did on Twitter Friday afternoon, posting a Snapchat video of himself bowling. The caption on Twitter adds that Smith was enjoying his time at the lanes for the first time in two years.

It was January 1st, 2016 when Jaylon Smith's injury in the Fiesta Bowl against Notre Dame changed his outlook forever. In that moment, Smith went from a projected top ten pick in the 2016 NFL Draft to a LB that would need a team to take a chance on him - and be patient.

The Dallas Cowboys proved to be that team, using the 34th overall pick on the Notre Dame star and supporting his efforts to return to the field from day one. The entire Cowboys' organization was rewarded by Smith remarkably playing every game this season, inspired by his constant determination to do just that.

Are Dallas Cowboys Building A Championship Defense? 3

Dallas Cowboys LB Jaylon Smith

So, a normal offseason for Jaylon Smith is anything but right now. Still battling the drop foot condition (one that is reportedly healing well and "fading") which limits his movement ability in the lower body, Smith is a normal Dallas Cowboys football player from this point forward.

He can say he's already defined all odds, can expect to take an even bigger stride forward in 2018, and Jaylon Smith can go bowling again. You can't help but be happy for #54.

Tell us what you think about "Watch: Cowboys LB Jaylon Smith Goes Bowling for First Time Since College Injury" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!


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Dak Prescott’s Accuracy Stands Out in Final 2017 Stats

Mauricio Rodriguez

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Dak Prescott

2017 was a season that left the Dallas Cowboys with a ton of questions to think about. Dez Bryant's contract, Sean Lee and Tyron Smith's availability, and the future of DeMarcus Lawrence and David Irving are some of those questions.

But there's another more pressing question for the Cowboys. How can they get the most out of Quarterback Dak Prescott and avoid another struggling year for him?

Also, what if he has another rough year? At what point does quarterback become a position that needs to be evaluated if he continues to struggle?

Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that will be the case. In fact, I have a lot of faith in Dak. I think he's shown a lot to be excited about and I definitely believe there's a "quarterback curve" in the NFL. Hopefully, #4 finds a way to get back on track in 2018.

A reason to be optimistic about Prescott's future is an impressive stat from NFL Next Gen Stats. Turns out, Dak Prescott ranked first in the NFL in "tight window throws" completion percentage with 45.8%.

According to Matt Harmon from NFL.com, a "tight window throw" is defined as a pass in which the intended receiver has less than a yard of separation from the defender.

Dak Prescott is far from a perfect quarterback and he's constantly bashed about his throwing accuracy. Just recently, he took part in a passing competition with David Carr before the NFL Honors and well... it's fair to say Carr completely beat him.

Cowboys Twitter was anything but forgiving for the young quarterback, but at the end of the day, I'm not sure a casual passing competition at an event like that one is the way you judge an NFL starting quarterback who has a 22-10 record in his career.

Dak has a long way to go before being considered an excellent quarterback in the league, but a bad season like 2017 doesn't mean it's the end of his career and that the Dallas Cowboys should start Cooper Rush over him.

It's not the first quarterback who struggles one year and he won't be the last one to bounce back from one. As of right now, Dak Prescott rightfully is the Dallas Cowboys QB1. Hopefully he has a better year next season.

Tell me what you think about "Dak Prescott’s Accuracy Stands Out in Final 2017 Stats" in the comments below, or tweet me @PepoR99 and let’s talk football! If you like football and are looking for a Dallas Cowboys show in Spanish, don’t miss my weekly Facebook Live! show, Primero Cowboys!


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