Last season the Dallas Cowboys saw their production on defense drop across the board as many veterans struggled to regain their form. One of the more traditionally underrated players whose production dropped off for the Cowboys last season was defensive end/defensive tackle Tyrone Crawford; he was coming back from double hip surgery that ended his 2019 season after only four games. His presence in the trenches in the past for the Cowboys was quite important when you consider his ability to get up the field with speed, and his power giving him the ability to push around offensive linemen in his way. Having both attributes allowed him to move around the defensive line.
Crawford also brought a level of leadership to keep players focused on the field and keep them motivated. When they lost that production from this multifaceted player, it really showed in the play on the field for this defense. The running game suffered and DeMarcus Lawrence and company lost their pass-rushing presence on the inside of the defensive front. Now that he has retired after dealing with injuries for much of his career, the Cowboys needed to find another productive player that can come in and give them what they were losing out of Crawford.
They were able to find that player in former Chicago Bear defensive end/tackle Brent Urban who has a game that is pretty similar to Crawford’s. Urban is a player who is good off the snap and has the ability to turn speed into power in order to get to the running back, or disrupt the quarterback, from the interior of the defensive line. While he was overshadowed by the likes of Roy Robertson-Harris and Akiem Hicks, Urban was a steady player who was able to make impactful plays in games, something that Crawford was also known to do. With Urban now wearing a star on his helmet, he’s bringing with him a consistent motor to add to the middle of this defensive line.
The Cowboys see a player that can really help this team against the run while also giving them some pass-rush push. Hopefully Urban will show them that their money was well spent.