Tyrone Crawford is a bit of an enigma for this Cowboys defense. He has a top-10 salary for defensive tackles and is one the highest-paid players in Dallas. The Cowboys had enough faith in Crawford to restructure his deal last March, decreasing their flexibility to release him down the road.
Despite what his contract says, though, Crawford has yet to really perform at a top level. The circumstances aren't his fault, but nevertheless the Cowboys have been paying and handling Crawford based on the expectation for what he will become. In 2016, Crawford has to reward their faith and patience.
After entering the league as a 2012 third-round pick, Crawford was stuck in a limited backup role while Dallas was still using the 3-4 scheme. He was expected to be a key rotation player in 2013 when they switched to the 4-3 but missed the entire season with a torn Achilles.
In 2014 Dallas signed a Rod Marinelli favorite, Henry Melton, to play the three-technique tackle. It was the position that Crawford was expected to excel in but the Cowboys couldn't be sure how he'd return from injury. Melton had a strong start but quickly faded that year, allowing Crawford to take the job. Crawford had three sacks in the last five games.
Despite Crawford's lack of playing time and having one year left on his rookie deal, Dallas decided then to make a long-term commitment. Crawford got a five-year, $45 million contract extension with the expectation that he would blossom as a full-time starter.
Last year Crawford suffered a torn rotator cuff in Week 2. He played through the injury all season and still finished with five sacks and 27 quarterback pressures. It was a decent year but certainly not the impact that the Cowboys were hoping for with that contract.
Dallas clearly still believes in Crawford, though, as they restructured the contract. He turns just 27 this November and also missed all of 2013, giving him some extra tread on the tires. If he can finally put in a full healthy season, double-digit sacks is not unreasonable for Crawford in Marinelli's scheme.
They will certainly need Crawford to deliver this year given other issues on the defensive lines. Last year's team sack leader, DeMarcus Lawrence, could miss up to four games due to a drug suspension. Randy Gregory is already out four games and was expected to be a key pass rusher in certain packages.
Even after these players come back, Dallas still needs Crawford to be a disruptive force. Attacking quarterbacks has been the primary weakness of the defense for several years now. Lawrence started to break out last year, finishing with seven sacks in the final eight games. If he and Crawford can both realize their potential this year it could allow the entire defensive unit to take a huge leap forward.
He's already paid like a star player. It's time for Tyrone Crawford to prove the Cowboys right.
BREAKING: Dallas Cowboys Sign Free Agent Safety George Iloka
The Dallas Cowboys have reached a one-year agreement with Safety George Iloka, according to ESPN's Todd Archer. Iloka spent 2018 with the Vikings after six years with the Bengals.
He's started 79 of his 99 career games since being a fifth-round pick by Cincinnati in 2012. Iloka turns 29 years old next week.
The Cowboys have agreed to a one-year deal with safety George Iloka, according to a source. Iloka met with the Cowboys on Friday and was the third safety to meet with the club during the week along with Clayton Geathers and Eric Berry. The Cowboys have... https://t.co/JB5nJLWepc
This isn't the safety that most Cowboys fans wanted. After over a year of pining for Earl Thomas, sights turned to Eric Berry after his free agent visit in Dallas last week.
However, it makes sense that Iloka would be attractive to the Cowboys. At 6'4" and 225 lbs, he fits the physical mold of what Defensive Backs Coach Kris Richard likes in his players. He also is younger than Berry and Thomas without the same recent injury issues.
Iloka becomes one of many Boise St. products on Dallas' roster, joining Tyrone Crawford, DeMarcus Lawrence, Leighton Vander Esch, and others. He entered the league with college teammates Crawford and Kellen Moore, the Cowboys' new offensive coordinator, in 2012.
We'll have to wait and see how George Iloka fits into the current mix at safety with Jeff Heath and Xavier Woods. He spent most of 2018 as a backup with Minnesota, but Dallas will likely give him a chance to start.
BREAKING: Cowboys Sign Ex-Packers WR Randall Cobb
According to multiple sources, the Dallas Cowboys have signed former Green Bay Packers Wide Receiver Randall Cobb to a one-year deal to help bolster their depth at the WR position and potentially become Cole Beasley's replacement.
Cowboys are giving former Packers' WR Randall Cobb a one-year, $5 million deal, per source. https://t.co/8KWFPjSP8T
The Dallas Cowboys met with Randall Cobb earlier this week, but he eventually left Dallas without a contract. He must've had a change of heart or just needed time to ponder the Cowboys offer, but regardless of what transpired in that short time he is now part of America's Team.
During his time with the Packers, Cobb accumulated 470 receptions for 5,524 receiving yards and 41 touchdowns. The eight-year veteran will now be expected to replace some of Cole Beasley's production out of the slot for the Dallas Cowboys.
After years of watching Beasley as the Cowboys slot WR, it will be really interesting to see Randall Cobb in that role. He's not as quick twitched as No. 11, but can be just as dangerous due to his ability to be more of a down the field receiver. He also brings added value in the return game and could compete with Tavon Austin to become the return specialist.
This could mean the Cowboys forgo drafting a wide receiver early in the 2019 NFL Draft, but I wouldn't put it past them. Regardless of what happens, this is an excellent addition.
Welcome to Cowboys Nation Randall Cobb!
REPORT: Dallas Cowboys Re-sign Long Snapper L.P. Ladouceur
L.P. Ladouceur is returning for his 15th season as the Cowboys' long snapper. The veteran free agent was re-signed by Dalals today to a one-year deal.
Thanks to Jason Witten's one-year sabbatical with Monday Night Football, Ladouceur has now been with the Cowboys for more consecutive seasons than any current player. He just turned 38 last week, but Louis-Philippe remains one of the top long snappers in football.
The Cowboys have signed long-snapper L.P. Ladouceur to a one-year deal worth $1.03 million and $90,000 in bonus money, but he will count $735,000 against the cap. This will be Ladouceur's 15th season with the Cowboys, tying Ed "Too Tall" Jones, Mark... https://t.co/2iDsi6RX7e
Retaining Ladouceur is an underrated move for the Cowboys given their situation at kicker.
Brett Maher was only 80% accurate overall on field goals last year. The team could be considering an upgrade in free agency.
Whether they bring Maher back or try someone new, having a long snapper with Ladouceur's performance perfection will make things much easier for them.
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