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Tyrone Crawford thinks that Maliek Collins is a “specimen”

Maliek Collins turned a lot of heads during his rookie season, including that of his teammate Tyrone Crawford.

NFL: Chicago Bears at Dallas Cowboys Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas Cowboys fans everywhere are expecting last year’s spectacular rookies to all take significant steps forward. This of course applies to Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott, Anthony Brown, and Maliek Collins just in case you forgot (plus Rico Gathers for the truthers out there).

If Maliek Collins had been a rookie in almost any other season he would’ve been the story of the season, he just happened to be only 25% of amazing rookie contributions. He was a saving grace along the defensive line and it appears that Tyrone Crawford agrees.

Tyrone was asked after Thursday’s practice about Taco Charlton being a rookie and if that was part of the learning curve during his first camp, and he had an interesting answer in relation to Maliek.

“It’s the rookie thing, you know. He’s a rookie and you know, he needs to get his feet underneath him. I feel like everybody comes out as a rookie like that, with the exception of Maliek Collins, he’s a specimen. But Taco, he’s got to get his feet underneath him and know that he’s playing against the Tyron Smiths of the world now. It’s going to be hard days and you’re not going to win every rep like you were at Michigan, but if you win one a game and get that sack that’s a good game.”

Crawford spoke after a practice that saw the offensive and defensive lines get into three different scuffles. What was interesting was that he attributed it partly to jitters/nerves, saying that he entered practice feeling like it was a game day.

Rod Marinelli joined ESPN San Antonio on Friday and when asked about where he envisions Tyrone Crawford playing this season said he really likes him at left defensive end, with the ability to kick inside on third-down situations.

This is how we’ve seen the Cowboys utilize Crawford so far, and many have attributed it to his lack of development at any particular position. The good news for Crawford though is that when he does indeed kick in, he’ll be lining up next to a specimen in Maliek Collins.

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