After attempting to rehab a hip injury in the offseason and through training camp, Tyrone Crawford was forced to go to injured reserve and have surgery to fix the issue. He's become one of the more underrated player on the team and his absence was certainly felt in 2019.
His ability to play defensive tackle in passing situations and defensive end to help the run game was sorely missed. The depth that he provided along the defensive line had made him an indispensable piece to the rotation. The leadership Crawford provided in the locker room and on the field is a huge reason the Cowboys have hung onto him for so long.
After spending nearly the entire 2019 season on IR, it's possible Crawford could be heading to a new team in 2020.
Well, as the Cowboys season came to a close on Sunday afternoon, it appears Tyrone Crawford is angling for another opportunity to lace them up with the Dallas Cowboys. Calvin Watkins is reporting that Crawford would be willing to take a reduced salary in order to stay with the club.
If the Cowboys want to reduce the salary of Tryone Crawford for 2020, he’s open to doing that.
— Calvin Watkins (@calvinwatkins) December 31, 2019
Going into the final year of his contract, Crawford is scheduled to count $9.1 million against the cap next season. If the Cowboys were to release him outright, they'd save $8 million (just a shade under what Robert Quinn made this year) with only $1.1 in dead money on the 2020 cap.
He's one of the few high-priced players they could move on from if they were seeking more cap space to get some other long-term deals done. So much of what his future looks like with the Dallas Cowboys will depend on who the next head coach will be and who his defensive coordinator is. Crawford may not be a fit for whoever comes in next to run the defense.
That said, his versatility and leadership are valuable traits for any coach in any scheme. Remember, he started his career as a 3-4 defensive end before switching to 3-technique defensive tackle when Monte Kiffen was hired and has played both end and tackle ever since.
His return will also depend on coming to an agreement on a number both sides are happy with. If the Cowboys low ball him, Crawford could force them to release him by not taking less than he wants.
This would be an excellent opportunity for the Cowboys and Crawford. Dallas gets an opportunity to save some money on the cap with a renegotiated deal. Tyrone Crawford gets to continue playing for the only team he's ever known. That kind of life continuity is valuable, especially for a guy with a family.
It's very early in the offseason and there's a lot to be decided, but this is an encouraging development for a player most thought would be a cap casualty in the 2020 offseason.