Dallas Cowboys: Should the Cowboys trade Tyrone Crawford?

LANDOVER, MD - OCTOBER 29: Defensive end Tyrone Crawford
LANDOVER, MD - OCTOBER 29: Defensive end Tyrone Crawford /

The Dallas Cowboys could be weighing a big decision on whether or not one of their team captains remains with the team for the 2018 season.

The Dallas Cowboys have a couple of big decisions to make as free agency is rapidly approaching. There are several players that will have to adjust their contracts for Dallas to really have some breathing room in free agency.

With their best pass rusher’s contract expiring and a lot of needs at different positions, the Cowboys could find themselves moving on from several players. One, in particular, stands out, Tyrone Crawford’s contract is monstrous and much like Dez Bryant’s a hindrance in terms of being active during free agency.

The Dallas Cowboys need to decide whether or not Crawford is worth the money and so far the stats do not look that good. Crawford has recorded 16.5 sacks during his five-year career and at no point has he recorded more than five sacks in a season.

Crawford has always been a versatile defensive piece for the Cowboys as he can play both defensive end and tackle, however, some can say he is much more than that. He is a leader in the locker room and a typically all around good guy.

The problem is, that does not necessarily help the Cowboys win their next elusive Super Bowl ring. Crawford has only played in all 16 games of the regular season once and that was in 2015.

He has two recorded forced fumbles (throughout his entire career) and has only accumulated more than 20 tackles in a season twice. He was outshined by Dallas Cowboys first-round pick, Taco Charlton, and he did not even have half as much playing time as Crawford. Now I know what you’re thinking, he can’t impact the Cowboys salary cap that much, well that could not be farther from the truth.

The Cowboys veteran is will count $9.1 million against the salary cap and is only second to Sean Lee in terms of cap hit size on defense. The Cowboys cannot cut him before free agency (March) because they would only save around $1.8 million. As a post-June 1st cut, the Cowboys could save around $6 million which is a bit better but at the wrong time of the year. 

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I mean this is a player who is going to make $21 million dollars over the next three seasons, and he is producing like a rental player you would find during the season.  At 28 years old Crawford’s age is not an issue but the fact that he is one of the highest paid defensive ends is.

Now as a post-June 1st cut, saving $6 million is not that bad and could be put towards paying the surplus of rookie prospects the team collects during the 2018 NFL draft. What would make more sense is a trade, as the Cowboys could recoup some value in gaining draft picks or another veteran player.

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Ideally packing Crawford with another player on the roster bubble such as Orlando Scandrick or Dez Bryant could make sense depending on the return. Either way, the Dallas Cowboys will have to find cap space to re-sign the most productive defensive lineman, DeMarcus Lawrence.