With the pass rush still a question mark in Dallas, many are looking for other players to rise to the occasion. As DeMarcus Lawrence and Randy Gregory look at a four game suspension, it may be the Cowboys’ best option to have the defensive line’s most courageous player switch to defensive end.
I call him courageous because following the 2014 season, he won the Ed Block Courage Award. The award goes to a player who exemplifies the principles of sportsmanship and courage. Other nominees included Patriots tight end Rob Gronkowski and Lions wide receiver Calvin Johnson.
Tyrone Crawford has said he is willing to make the switch from defensive tackle to defensive end in order to help the team. The guy is courageous and a true team player? Get me a #98 jersey!
DE isn’t unfamiliar to Crawford because he began his career there in college before thriving at DT in the pros. Taken in the 3rd round of the 2012 Draft out of Boise State, Tyrone Crawford had just 20 tackles and 2 QB hurries in his rookie year.
2014 is where he really broke out racking up 3 sacks and 33 tackles. It was this season, the last of his rookie contract, that convinced the Cowboys to resign him.
In 2015, Crawford recorded 15 QB hurries, 5 sacks and 35 tackles. His production has only gone up even with tearing his rotator cuff in his right shoulder of week 2 last season. He had 1 sack and 3 tackles week 1, which means he recorded 4 sacks and 32 tackles with basically one arm.
Just imagine the damage he could do when completely healthy. He is one of the few play makers on the defensive front and with his ability to play both inside and outside, Crawford might help the Cowboys by playing DE the first four weeks.
But is it in the Cowboys’ best interest to move their most explosive defensive linemen just to fill the void of Gregory and Lawrence? There are other players, like Jack Crawford and David Irving who could kick out to DE and may serve as very formidable pass rushers. That would let Tyrone Crawford, the Cowboys’ best DT, play DT.
However, in reference to possible players switching to DE, Coach Rod Marinelli sees Tyrone Crawford as his “ace in the hole.” And other than DeMarcus Lawrence, Crawford is really the only other player to have extensive pass rush experience, making him the prime candidate to switch positions. More so, the addition of Cedric Thornton makes it easer to move Crawford to DE if need be.
It’s not far fetched to think that the Cowboys might consider shifting Crawford to play on the bookends of the defensive line, especially with a limited lineup. He may be the best option for the Cowboys while they wait for their suspended pass rushers to return.