The Dallas Cowboys paid a big price to move up in the 2012 NFL Draft to select Morris Claiborne. In that trade, Dallas had to give up their second-round pick. This put a ton of pressure on Dallas’ third-round pick Tyrone Crawford. The Cowboys selected Crawford knowing that he was extremely raw, but Dallas knew Crawford had the talent to become a productive pass-rusher at the next level.
In his rookie season, Crawford was a rotational player on this defensive line. He ended the season with 21 total tackles. He had a ton of expectations going into the 2013 season, and it looked like he was bound for a breakout season in his second year. Instead, Crawford tore his achilles before the season started. On the first day of training camp, Crawford was taken off the field from the injury. Although he is still unestablished, Crawford has the potential to be an impact-player on this defensive line.
Dallas’ defensive line has become a hot topic for Cowboy fans in the 2014 offseason. Dallas decided to cut their all-time leading pass rusher in DeMarcus Ware, and they decided not to bring back Jason Hatcher because he wanted a ton of money. Before the Henry Melton signing, Dallas’ starting defensive line was Jeremy Mincey, Terrell McClain, Nick Hayden, and George Selvie. Something to be aware of is that Crawford is capable of playing defensive end or defensive tackle in this scheme.
Rod Marinelli is one of the best defensive coaches in all of football, and it will be interesting to see what he can do with Crawford in 2014. He is pretty athletic, and he has long arms that allow him to break free from offensive tackles to get to the quarterback. Dallas’ defense will be entering a make-or-break year in 2014. If Crawford can produce, it will be beneficial for this entire defense.