BTB Mailbag: Is Cowboys DE Tyrone Crawford Made For This?

Eric P. Mull-US PRESSWIRE

One of our readers wants to know if last year's third rounder is ready to build his reputation in 2013.

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On to this post's question!

Will Crawford be a good 4-3 DE and apply decent pressure to the QB? – Hogeboom

Archie: Tyrone Crawford should continue to see more playing time in Kiffin's 4-3 defense because of his success as a 4-3 player back in college at Boise State. Crawford needs to take the next step in 2013 and become a productive player. He played pretty well in his rookie season, but he was still learning proper technique.

If Crawford continues to improve his technique and works hard in the weight room, then this kid has the talent to become a 5-8 sacks a year type of rotational player. In time, he could become a starting defensive end who could get us 8-10 sacks a year. The Cowboys liked Crawford because of his scheme versatility, hopefully he begins to rack up the pressures and sacks in 2013.

Rabblerousr: Crawford played the strongside end at Boise State, in a similar 4-3 system. At BSU, Crawford was expected to set the edge and to provide pass rush, both of which he did very well (many scouts feel that he rushed the passer better than his Boise D-linemate, Chicago's 2011 first-rounder, Shea McClellin).

Although he's certainly not the kind of quick-twitch athlete that DeMarcus Ware is, Crawford is quicker than a lot of people give him credit for, and he's a relentless effort player who might pad his sack totals with a fair share of "clean-up" sacks.

OCC: Tyrone Crawford 'possesses prototypical NFL athletic ability and speed on the perfect frame', the NFL Draft Advisory Board wrote last year. Crawford had a production ratio of 1.62, the highest number of any defensive lineman in last year's draft class. On paper, Tyrone Crawford has everything he needs to become a penetrating lineman: a track record of production, prototypical athleticism and an abundance of performance metrics needed to be successful at the position.

Crawford got more and more playing time as the season progressed last year, and he looked increasingly comfortable. We don't know what the Cowboys D-line will look like yet, so I'm not sure Crawford will line up at DE. And with recent reports that he bulked up to close to 300 pounds I suspect he'll line up as the three technique in the D-line rotation.

KD: I think you'll see Kiffin and Marinelli gauge Tyrone Crawford's future on behalf of the team this year. Should Anthony Spencer stay on a one-year deal, the team may not look to bring in a draft pick or a free agent. There's a lot of talk about Dallas picking up a free agent like Israel Idonije of the Bears, but for what? With Spencer coming back I don't see the need at all since Crawford is waiting in the wings.

If Crawford can perform adequately in a backup role, than Dallas will know they have their SDE of the future and can then look to focus on DeMarcus Ware's replacement next season.

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