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?
Free Agent WR Allen Hurns Plans to Sign With Cowboys
It looks as if the Dallas Cowboys will be adding yet another wide receiver through free agency. According to sources, Allen Hurns plans on signing with the Cowboys.
WR Allen Hurns just told me, "I'm going to sign with Dallas." #Cowboys
This is a move that seemed unlikely after the Cowboys signed Deonte Thompson a few days ago, but I know a lot of Cowboys Nation will be excited about this transaction.
While this move is exciting, it does create more confusion for the Cowboys and their wide receivers. It's difficult to imagine all of these WRs sticking to the roster, which means there will be some tough decisions that need to be made.
What will the Cowboys do with Dez Bryant?
Will Cole Beasley be cut or traded?
Are the Cowboys comfortable absorbing Terrance Williams' cap hit if traded or released?
Will this keep the Cowboys from drafting a WR early?
All of these questions and more will have to be answered eventually. But, one thing is for sure, things are definitely about to get interesting.
Of course, there is a bonus here for the Dallas Cowboys. Since Allen Hurns was released by the Jacksonville Jaguars, he doesn't count against the Cowboys compensatory picks next season.
Please stay tuned and we will continue to keep you updated on contract details and any other news involving Allen Hurns as it becomes available.
What do you think about the Allen Hurns signing?
What Signing Thompson Means for Hurns and Cowboys WR Position
UPDATE: News of Hurns saying he will sign with the Cowboys broke as this article went live.
Free Agency began a bit late for the Dallas Cowboys, but they've already done enough to get fans discussing about the latest additions to the roster. Adding help on offense, defense and special teams in form of tier-2 free agents may not be what Cowboys Nation wants to see, but I'm certain they wouldn't have enjoyed giving Sammy Watkins a three-year $48M contract, either.
However, the Cowboys are clearly in the wide receiver market after an offensively disappointing season. They have quite a few of this year's class of wide receivers prospects scheduled to visit Dallas, and they've hosted some WR free agents as well.
This week, they even signed one.
Deonte Thompson, who started seven games for the Bills last year, is coming to Dallas on a one-year $2.5M contract. The 29-year old could be the burner receiver this offense is missing and could end up being an improved version of Brice Butler for the Cowboys in 2018.
He hasn't had a great career but last season was his best year so far. Starting three games for the Bears and seven for the Bills, Thompson was able to rack up a career-high 555 yards and two touchdowns.
His best attribute as a player is definitely the speed he brings to the table and his ability to separate down the field, which he'll be looking to do on Dak Prescott's offense this season.
But there was another wide receiver visiting Dallas this week and now we wonder whether or not the Deonte Thompson signing will keep the Cowboys from targeting former Jaguars' WR Allen Hurns.
According to Todd Archer, that won't be the case.
Told the signing of Deonte Thompson does not close the door on the Cowboys' interest in Allen Hurns, who visited the team Wednesday and had dinner. Things could get interesting in the Cowboys' wide receivers' room. https://t.co/Ivt5uk9kBN
It shouldn't be. First of all, Hurns is a much better player than Thompson and would provide this offense with a receiver who can play in the "X" or in the "Z" role. We've been talking about getting Prescott a reliable target to try to give him a "best friend." Allen Hurns could be just that.
Sure, he's had a couple of down seasons, but the talent is there to take.
Simply put, the Deonte Thompson signing shouldn't stop the Cowboys from looking at WR in the first round of the NFL Draft. Allen Hurns would.
It sure would make things interesting in the wide receiver room for Dallas. Despite what many believe, Dez Bryant will probably remain a Cowboy even if Hurns is signed. Let's say the Cowboys go out there and get the 26-year old from Jacksonville and have to decide which six receivers to keep for the season.
They'd possibly have to decide among these:
- Dez Bryant
- Terrrance Williams
- Cole Beasley
- Ryan Switzer
- Allen Hurns
- Deonte Thompson
- Noah Brown
- A drafted rookie?
This is where a lot of dilemmas start taking form. Cole Beasley and Ryan Switzer are basically the same player and if you're not going to use them both at the same time, do you keep them anyway? What about Terrance Williams? He could be the worst receiver to make the cut just because of his contract.
Noah Brown showed promise in 2017, are they ready to move on from him? And finally, a rookie could very well end up beating Deonte Thompson, who was guaranteed a million in his contract.
Wide receiver is indeed one of the top needs for the Dallas Cowboys. They could head to the 2018 NFL Draft needing one in the top rounds or they could be fine signing Hurns and taking a late-rounder receiver to compete in training camp for a spot on the roster.
As long as they're having a tough time deciding because they are all good, it should be fine.
Cowboys Sign Free Agent WR Deonte Thompson
The Dallas Cowboys added some speed to their receiver corps today by signing free agent Deonte Thompson. He played for both the Chicago Bears and Buffalo Bills last season.
Thompson, who turned 29 last month, went undrafted in 2012. He had a quiet to start to his career as a reserve and practice squad guy in Baltimore and Chicago, but finally got a chance to shine with seven starts last year for the Bills. He 27 catches for 430 yards and one touchdown in just 11 games.
The #Cowboys signed WR Deonte Thompson, per agent @davidcanter. He gets 1-year, $2.5M with a $1M signing bonus.
Deonte brings some much-needed speed to the Cowboys offense. He ran a 4.31 40-yard dash as a rookie, and while he's 29 now he still poses more of a vertical threat than the current Dallas receivers.
Given the low salary in this deal, Thompson may not be seen as much than a replacement for Brice Butler near the bottom of Dallas' depth chart. We also have to wait and see what happens with the draft and other moves this offseason to know where he fits into the bigger picture.
For now, though, Cowboys fans can take a little comfort in knowing the front office hasn't completely fallen asleep at the wheel.
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