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Believe it or not, the Dallas Cowboys defense will miss Tyrone Crawford in 2021

You don’t know what you have until it’s gone, but the Cowboys might find out.

Dallas Cowboys v New York Giants Photo by Al Pereira/Getty Images

As opinions go, it’s probably an unpopular to even suggest the Dallas Cowboys will miss Tyrone Crawford’s presence in the locker room and on the field in 2021. That doesn’t necessarily mean it’s not true, but there were many fans around Cowboys Nation who had been trying to chase him out of town for several years now. After announcing his retirement this offseason, they finally got their wish.

But it’s difficult not to think about players like Tyrone Crawford who added so much value to the team right now while the Dallas Cowboys are in the midst of figuring out who exactly will make the final 53-man roster. His veteran leadership and versatility to play multiple positions up and down the defensive line doesn’t show up in the stat sheets, but it was something highly valued by the coaching staff and his teammates alike. As was his leadership on and off the field.

Sadly, the Dallas Cowboys no longer have such a player currently on the roster heading into the 2021 season. For nearly a decade, Dallas’ defense has benefited from being able to deploy Crawford at either defensive tackle or defensive end on any given play, but unfortunately they no longer have that versatility to fall back on. With the concerns along their defensive front right now, having that kind of player would’ve been invaluable.

Dallas Cowboys v Houston Texans Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

When it comes to the Cowboys 53-man roster, it doesn’t really matter who makes it through the final cuts or not. There is absolutely no one who is really capable of playing that “Tyrone Crawford” role this season. The only player close to having that kind of inside/out versatility is Ron’Dell Carter, but even he may not make the final roster and hasn’t played DE or DT at a very high level as of yet.

Depth along the Cowboys defensive front is already a bit of concern heading into the season opener against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Neville Gallimore’s elbow injury leaves them thin at DT and the depth isn’t much better at DE as well. In the past having a player with Tyrone Crawford’s ability to play both positions would ease those concerns, but with him now watching games from home as a retiree that’s no longer doable.

As unpopular as it may seem, the Cowboys will definitely miss Tyrone Crawford this year. He’s been a invaluable defensive chess piece for the better part of a decade and not having that in their back pocket any longer is something they will have to work around as the season progresses and other injuries arise. How they navigate these waters could go a long ways in determining their success this year. Fingers crossed they figure things out.