It has been rumored this off-season that the Dallas Cowboys are toying with the idea of moving Tyrone Crawford to defensive end due to Randy Gregory and DeMarcus Lawrence‘s pending four-game suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy. The depth at the defensive end position is a concern, so Crawford’s possible position switch is understandable.
First off, I’m in favor of doing anything that will help out the defense overall, but Crawford’s potential move to defensive end concerns me a little.
Actually, it concerns me more than a little. I’ll go as far as saying that I think it would be a mistake and I’ll attempt to explain why.
Okay, so here’s the problem I have with moving Tyrone Crawford to defensive end to help out with the depth during the first four weeks of the season while Gregory and Lawrence are serving their suspensions. The problem now is that you have to have a replacement at the 3-tech with Crawford now moving to defensive end and I’m just not sure if I like the idea of all of that shuffling along the defensive line.
To me, it’s much like what would happen if the Cowboys had to replace one of their offensive tackles. Would they choose to move Zack Martin or La’el Collins to help compensate? I wouldn’t think so because then you’re changing up two of your offensive lineman and I think it’s kind of the same thing on the defensive side of the ball.
I think it just messes with continuity and the familiarity players get when playing next to one another. It may be a little different on the defensive side of the ball, but players still get a feel for working with each other and how to play off of one another.
So, I think the question is whether or not Maliek Collins is ready to be a starter at the 3-tech for Crawford as a rookie?
Of course, there is no way of knowing the answer to this question just yet, but defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli was elated when the Cowboys drafted Collins in the third round and even stated that he fits the position to a T. Unfortunately, we will have to wait to see how he performs in practices and preseason once the pads go on.
Personally, I would really like to keep Crawford as the 3-tech because I think he can be a difference maker putting pressure on the quarterback from the interior of the defensive line, especially with the addition of Cedric Thornton.
Crawford managed 35 tackles and five quarterback sacks in 2015, despite playing the majority of the season with a shoulder injury that required off-season surgery. I really think he can be a disruptive player if 100% healthy and will help out whatever defensive end is playing next to him.
The Cowboys have Ryan Russell, Jack Crawford, Charles Tapper, Benson Mayowa, and possibly David Irving as options to play defensive end for the first four games of the season. I would personally give every opportunity to these players before making the decision to move Tyrone Crawford.
Tyrone Crawford does have the position flexibility to play defensive tackle and defensive end. He played DE in college at Boise State and the first couple of seasons with the Cowboys before finding a home at the 3-tech. So, that is why it is understandable he is being considered as an option.
I on the other hand think it is best to keep Crawford where he is so that he can build upon the experience he gained during his first full season as the 3-tech in 2015. He is just now starting to get the feel for playing the position and should only improve with more experience.
Whatever Rod Marinelli and the rest of the coaching staff decide to do, I’m sure it will be in the best interest of the team. I will however go on record as saying that I think it would be a mistake moving Tyrone Crawford to defensive end.
What do you think? Should the Cowboys move Tyrone Crawford to defensive end in 2016?