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In Their Own Words: How College Blogs Reacted To The Dallas Cowboys Picking Their Players (Pt. I)

Tyrone Crawford: "<em>You guys got a gem!</em>"
Tyrone Crawford: "You guys got a gem!"

Remember how you scrambled to find data on any of the Cowboys' draft picks on the second and third day of the draft? We're not quite two full weeks removed from the draft and we've all done our darndest to get up to speed on our rookies: we reviewed what little film we could find on YouTube, we've scoured the scouting reports and we read and watched everything coming out of Valley Ranch, especially through rookie minicamp.

And while we're starting to get familiar with our draft class, there's still a lot we don't know about them. But there are people who have watched these guys in action every weekend throughout most of their college career, so today we take a leisurely stroll through the college blogs of the teams our rookies played for over the last couple of years.

We'll skip LSU, because Morris Claiborne was so well publicized before the draft, there's little to add. For the rest of the draft picks, we go to their respective SBNation blogs where available, for the others we go to their official team blogs. In Part I, we'll focus on Tyrone Crawford, Kyle Wilbur and Matt Johnson. A little later in Part II, we'll feature the remaining draft picks.

Boise State's One Bronco Nation Under God: Tyrone Crawford, DE

After the draft, chief OBNUGGER Kevan Lee wrote a short post on Tyrone Crawford:

The Dallas Cowboys took the first Boise State Bronco on Day Two, picking defensive end Tyrone Crawford in the third round. Crawford will join Orlando Scandrick, a fellow former Bronco (a fact Scandrick will deny), in Dallas.

Crawford will make an excellent fit in defensive coordinator Rob Ryan's aggressive 3-4 scheme, playing the big-bodied, strong defensive end spot that 3-4 defenses demand. With Dallas' trade up yesterday for LSU corner Morris Claiborne and offseason signings of CB Brandon Carr and LB Dan Connor, Crawford joins a vastly improved defensive unit for Dallas in 2012.

The Cowboys have star-studded Demarcus Ware at outside linebacker and Pro Bowler Jay Ratliff at nose tackle, but their defensive end play is fairly wide open. Crawford will have every opportunity to make an impact right away in Dallas.

But much more interesting than this 'official' statement by Lee are some of the reactions from the bloggers on the site, which are summarized in table form below:

Time Blogger Comment
10:42 PM EDT astrosmurf Tyrone Crawford has a ton of upside, and Dallas knows it. He only has, a couple years of Div l experience, and he was right up there with Winn & Shea. No high school football? he could truly be a pro bowler.
11:19 PM EDT willyoube mycharizard Hey everyone. I’m a boys fan and to be honest I had never heard of Tyrone Crawford EVER and neither have most people on Blogging the Boys. Can you tell me about him?
11:27 PM EDT astrosmurf You guys got a gem! He has a ton of upside, and he’s already awesome. Guy plays with a chip, and will make a nice teammate with your rookies. He has pro bowl possibilities. Treat him right and he’ll play his heart out for ya. Don’t, and the Raiders will be glad to take him off your hands, lol.
11:27 PM EDT glasman699 Tyrone will make a huge impact in the Dallas secondary. Just you wait, this guy is lean and mean! And smart too. After all, he went to Boise State, right? He will also get after the QB big time
11:34 PM EDT Moto2.5 Where to start... 6’4", 276lbs, JUCO transfer. Played 25 of 26 games the past two seasons. Career total over those two seasons – 76 tackles, 33 solo, 13.5 sacks. The guys is a beast, a lot quicker than his numbers suggest. Very good at disrupting the backfield. I could go on all day but those are some quick stats for ya.

Wake Forest's Blogger So Dear: Kyle Wilber, OLB

This blog doesn't seem to have that much going on in terms of comments, but we'll take what we can get:

The second of three Deacs to end up getting drafted on Saturday was OLB Kyle Wilber, who was taken by the Dallas Cowboys with the 18th pick of Round 4, 114th overall. Wilber [...] certainly has a shot at making moves at the next level, and it's always exciting when one of our own gets drafted. And it's always good when a guy is quoted as saying he wants to "destroy the quarterback."

Wilber is definitely going to have more of a journey before he's well-known, but special teams is an absolutely invaluable and often underrated aspect of the game. Wilber starting as a special teams guy may be a slightly thankless, not very glamorous job, but it's an important one, and I have a lot of faith that Kyle will give his all to every opportunity he's given.

Make some moves, Kyle. We here at BSD wish you all the best.

Eastern Washington's Matt Johnson, S

The Eastern Washington Eagles don't have an SBNation site, so this is taken from a story on the official Eastern Washington Athletics site:

Johnson, who finished his Eastern career with 341 tackles to rank fifth in school history and eighth all-time in the Big Sky, missed Eastern’s last four games of his senior season with a biceps injury. But because he played in 45 career games – and had impressive workouts and test results in the winter – he wasn’t particularly surprised by being picked in the fourth round. Most experts had him taken late in the draft or as a free agent signing.

“I guess you could say it was surprising by what people were predicting,” he said. “I knew the Cowboys were interested in me based on the workout I had for them in Dallas. But I had confidence in myself and my testing numbers from our pro day were good.

“I’m sure the injury and being from a FCS (NCAA Football Championship Subdivision) school probably is why people had me picked later or not drafted at all,” he added. “But I knew the fourth round was possible. When I met the coaches, they were able to see what kind of person I am and how smart of a football player I am.”

Playing with a painful biceps tendon injury since the second game of the 2011 season, Johnson underwent surgery Oct. 27 as his illustrious 45-game career came to a premature ending.

“What he’s been able to accomplish here has been amazing, both individually and what he has helped us accomplish as a team,” said Eastern head coach Beau Baldwin. “He can certainly hold his head up high – he’s a great ambassador for our program.”

Before the season began, the Johnson twins were selected as Eastern’s two defensive co-captains for the 2011 season, and were preseason All-Americans.

Matt Johnson also finished second on the school’s all-time lists for interceptions (17, ranking seventh all-time in the BSC) and interception return yards (210). After starting every game in his Eastern career – with a collective record of 30-15 -- he exited tied as the all-time leader in career forced fumbles with six.

At the time of his injury Johnson was the team’s second-leading tackler with 52, including a team-high eight tackles for loss. He had 1 1/2 sacks, two interceptions, two forced fumbles and a quarterback hurry.

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