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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.

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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.

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Cowboys DE Randy Gregory Reinstated, Will Join Team for Training Camp

Sean Martin

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Will the Dallas Cowboys "Get Lucky" at Defensive End?

The Dallas Cowboys patience with Defensive End Randy Gregory has paid off. Suspended for the better part of 2016 and all of 2017, Gregory has officially been reinstated to join the team for their 2018 training camp. The projected starter at RDE, Gregory will report to Oxnard with the rest of the team on July 25th.

From here, it will be all hard work for Gregory to reconnect with Defensive Coordinator Rod Marinelli and get his promising career back on track. The last time Gregory suited up for the Cowboys, he managed to sack Philadelphia Eagles Quarterback Carson Wentz in a week 17 win. The Cowboys will be expecting much more of this from a player they've supported through multiple violations of the league's heavily criticized substance abuse policy.

Ian Rapoport on Twitter

Cowboys pass-rusher Randy Gregory's petition for reinstatement was not opposed, according to lawyer Daniel Moskowitz. He's back. "I've never been more proud of any individual in my life. I'm very excited for Randy and his daughter and the rest of the his family.

Among this support staff for Gregory were a number of teammates that wrote formal letters to the NFL as part of his bid for reinstatement. These last few days of preparation before the Cowboys are together again as a team will surely be uplifted by Gregory's presence.

They say no news is typically good news at this point in the offseason, something the Cowboys have come to realize far too often. Today's news shouldn't be confused with a pleasant surprise however, rather something the Cowboys were committed to in getting another premier pass rusher on the field.

Here is the NFL's official press release on their reinstatement of Randy Gregory:

Sean Martin ✭ on Twitter

Sean Martin ✭ on Twitter

https://t.co/za0u3lWgaY

Tell us what you think about "Cowboys DE Randy Gregory Reinstated, Will Join Team for Training Camp" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



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Cowboys & DeMarcus Lawrence Fail to Reach New Contract

Jess Haynie

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Which 2018 Free Agents Will The Cowboys Retain? 1
Andrew Dieb/Icon Sportwire

DeMarcus Lawrence will definitely be a Cowboy in 2018, but now the future  beyond that remains in question. The Dallas Cowboys and their star defensive end did not agree to a long-term contract by today's deadline for franchise-tagged players.

According to NFL rules, teams had until 4:00 pm EST today to reach contract extensions with free agents who'd been assigned the franchise tag earlier this offseason. Players who did not get new deals will have to play the 2018 season on their one-year franchise tenders.

Jon Machota on Twitter

DeMarcus Lawrence and the Cowboys were unable to work out a long-term contract by today's deadline. Lawrence will play the 2018 season under a one-year franchise tag that will pay him $17.1 million

This does not mean Lawrence will be a free agent in 2019. The two parties can still discuss the contract in the months to come, but the deal cannot be made until after the end of the regular season.

Dallas also has the option of giving DeMarcus a second franchise tag next year. However, that would come at a considerably higher price for a second-straight season.

This year, Lawrence will still make plenty with one of the highest cap hits of any DE in the league. He earned the franchise tag last with 14.5 sacks in a breakout season.

Today's news may not really be a big deal in the long run. As long as Tank wants to stay in Dallas after this, the two sides now have over five months to keep talking and will hopefully agree on a new deal for 2019 and beyond.

There is risk on both sides, of course.

Lawrence's leverage could be less if his productions drops or he gets injured. On the other hand, his position could be even stronger with a second-straight year of strong play.

Now everyone, from the team to player to fans, is in wait-and-see mode until the end of the season.



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Will Cowboys WR Noah Brown Do Enough to Make the Roster?

Sean Martin

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Will Cowboys WR Noah Brown Do Enough to Make Cowboys Roster? 2
(Tom Fox/The Dallas Morning News)

The Dallas Cowboys aren't short on numbers at wide receiver on their current 90-man roster. Looking to replace Dez Bryant and reshape their offense, the Cowboys will have to find the right group of pass catchers for Dak Prescott at their upcoming training camp.

This group includes Terrance Williams, Cole Beasley, Allen Hurns, Lance Lenoir, Deonte Thompson, Cedrick Wilson, Michael Gallup, KD Cannon, Mekale McCay, and Marchie Murdock.

The odd men out from this group will likely be the ones that can't sustain a consistent level of play, doing so across multiple units if needed. All ten receivers will have their flashes, but with only four being true locks to make the team, new Cowboys Wide Receivers Coach Sanjay Lal will be in on some tough decisions right away.

One such decision may be moving on from last year's seventh round pick Noah Brown out of Ohio State. Vouched for by former Buckeyes teammate Ezekiel Elliott thanks to his blocking ability on the outside, it may now be this strength in the run game and deficiency as a pass catcher that spells the end of Brown's run in Dallas.

Normally, a seventh round pick being on the roster bubble wouldn't be this noteworthy, but Brown clearly showed the potential to outplay this draft status as a rookie. Appearing in 13 games, Brown is a true X receiver, although not the dominant one the Cowboys are searching for.

What Happens if WR Allen Hurns Doesn't Pan Out?

Dallas Cowboys WR Deonte Thompson, Cedrick Wilson, Allen Hurns (AP Photo/Ron Jenkins)

Moving away from fielding a true number one receiver, the Cowboys did sign Allen Hurns to play this spot while prepared to spread the ball around to Williams, Beasley, and Gallup after that.

This leaves Thompson, Wilson, Cannon, Lenoir, McCay, Murdock, and Brown to prove their worth in other ways to make the roster. I've written plenty about the potential rookie Cedrick Wilson has, so I'll be expecting a strong showing from him to earn a role in the Cowboys offense.

Wilson's skill set could push a depth signing like Deonte Thompson off the team, although his ability to back up Cole Beasley/Tavon Austin on special teams is important. The same can be said about Lance Lenoir, who like Brown has the advantage over first year players given his trials through training camp and the preseason a year ago.

Long shots to make the team, Cannon, McCay, and Murdock fall just below this group -- and somewhere in the middle is Noah Brown.

Increasing his role on special teams as the season went on last year, Brown had fans throughout a coaching staff that is now drastically changed for 2018. From their shift to more speed on offense, to drafting of both Gallup and Wilson, calling Brown a fringe player on the Cowboys roster really sets up the fiery competition to come at wide receiver.

Will Cowboys WR Noah Brown Do Enough to Make Cowboys Roster?

Dallas Cowboys WR Noah Brown (Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports)

Should the Cowboys find a spot for Brown, one can only hope it means this new coaching staff has a clear plan for him to contribute on both offense and special teams outside of being a run blocker. A potential niche for Brown is his red zone ability, not afraid to put his body on the line for jump balls and fight through contact in his routes.

It won't be long until we sort out if this is enough to make the Cowboys as a wide receiver ahead of Quarterback Dak Prescott's third season.

Tell us what you think about "Will Cowboys WR Noah Brown Do Enough to Make the Roster?" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



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