Grading The Dallas Cowboys 2012 NFL Draft: Round 3- Tyrone Crawford

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Continuing my ongoing series of Grading the Dallas Cowboys 2012 NFL Draft, I now move on to round 3. The first article covered rounds 1 and 2. You can read the entire story here.  As previously stated, when I prepared my 2012 Dalls Cowboys Mock Draft, there were 3 primary needs that I felt the Cowboys needed to address:  A. Protecting Tony Romo. B. Improving the pass rush. C. The problems in the secondary. The assessment of rounds 1 and 2 included a discussion of the offensive line (A) and the cornerback position (C). In this segement I will address the pass rush(B).

Over the past few months leading up to the draft, I did a series on “The Guys No One Is Talking About”.  The Dallas Cowboys 3rd round pick happens to be one of those guys.

Tyrone Crawford, DE/OLB Boise State

6-4   275   4.89   40   28 bench reps.
Grade entering draft:  77.5
My Grade: Potential/Impact: B-  Draft Value: C-

All that needs to be said is “a guy from Boise”. Boise State is a machine when it comes to producing solid players. 2011 ALL-MOUNTAIN WEST FOOTBALL FIRST TEAM (COACHES): DL Tyrone Crawford, Sr., Boise State, was selected All-Mountain West Conference First Team for the 2011 college football season as voted on by the eight head coaches and select media panel. Crawford led the team with 13.5 TFLs and 6.5 sacks in 2011. He was a solid force as the anchor of the Boise defense. He was projected to go anywhere from the late 1st to 3rd round. He has good size and strength to go with a non stop motor. He looks to be a day 1 contributor at the next level in 4-3 packages.

Crawford looks the part; he has a strong, defined frame and good length (33?? arms, 9?? hands). Has good quickness and athleticism for his size. Coordinated with smooth movement skills. High effort rusher and works through the whistle. Relentless worker, fighting off blocks and battling to the ball-carrier. Has strong hands and holds his own at the point of attack. Stout anchor when he plays low to the ground. Has strong practice habits and coaches talk highly of his work ethic. Has been productive at the FBS-level with a combined 27.0 tackles for loss and 13.5 sacks the past two seasons. Offers some scheme versatility. — Dane Brugler

I really like this player. In fact, I liked him enough to write about him and promote him. He was one of the guys lower on my list for the Cowboys. It is constantly reiterated by Jerry Jones that the Cowboys will be sticking with a 3-4 base defense. If this is the case, I am confused by this pick. When you consider that JJ traded away the second round pick to move up in the draft to snag Claiborne, it was imperative that the Cowboys address the pass rush in a way that will have the most impact.  Crawford is limited to being a situational player only in certain packages. The question becomes: where is the value in that?  This is the main reason the pick was given a C- .

Crawford is a Prototypical 4-3 DE with the potential, to over time, maybe bulk up enough to play the position in a 3-4 system. If you look at the recent Cowboys defenses, the biggest problem is the inability to consistently collapse the pocket. Eli Manning stood there comfortably, with plenty of time to make 3 to 4 reads. Even if you have Revis and Deion Sanders back there, when an NFL quarterback has that much time, someone is going to get open. The cliche is: “Jay Ratliff has been to multiple Pro Bowls”. Really? When that subject comes up, I can’t help but wonder if in some cases it is indeed a popularity contest. Don’t get me wrong, I love Rat as a player, but I also have eyes. I even know a little bit about football. The question that comes to my mind is: if he is the right guy for the job, why is it that all of the most dominant 3-4 defenses in the history of the system, had a NT who on average weighed at least 330 lbs?  Seriously, Rat is smaller than many 3-4 DE’s!

The story is continued on the next page…..