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Film Review: Cowboys Need More From Tyrone Crawford

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.

What do you think?

Kevin Brady

Written by Kevin Brady

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 have been with ITS since 2016.

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