Cowboys fans everywhere have been calling for help on the defensive line and they got it tonight. With the 81st overall pick in the 2012 NFL Draft the Dallas Cowboys have selected Tyrone Crawford, DE, Boise St. The Cowboys were patient and didn’t make any hasty moves. With players falling the Cowboys were able to identify their target and stick to their board. Crawford is the newest Cowboy so lets introduce you to him.
If you read my Draft Manefesto I highlighted Tyrone Crawford as a 4th round target. He has a great frame and hand and arm technique against opposing players. He is considered a very stout run defender and a decent pass rusher. What I really like about Crawford is his strength and ability to recognize the need to use his body to shed blocks. Crawford is also known for his high football IQ, many scouts think that there isn’t a scheme he can’t pick up on and produce in. Crawford has great potential and is projected to be a high impact starter if coached correctly.
Crawford isn’t a player who will make an immediate impact. He is a little raw and has limited experience pre-college. He’ll need to work on his repertoire in respect to pass rushing moves. He seems to rely solely on a bull rush and needs to work on ability to get passed tackles with ease.
The Cowboys needed help on the line and they got depth here with Crawford. Crawford has great potential to emerge as an elite defensive end but will need to work hard at it. I like what he offers to the defense especially if we ever move to 4-3 base. The thought seems to be that he’ll bulk up a little bit and really be a lot to handle. He isn’t the big DT everyone was looking for but he’ll be a player that over time will be very good. Another big plus about this pick is his versatility. Crawford projects as a DE or 4-3 DT who is effective in stunts and can play the OLB position in the 3-4.
This isn’t my pick in this round. Players like Brandon Thompson, Ta’amu, Orson Charles, and Mohammed Sanu are all available and Thompson and Ta’amu offered better value I thought. However, I like the ceiling on Crawford who could easily emerge as the better player out of this crop. The Cowboys are trying to put a defensive stamp on this draft and value continues to fall to them. I think when all things are done we’ll look back at this pick and be happy with what we’ve gained through it.