Dallas Cowboys: Could this player be the next Tyrone Crawford?
Last season, Dallas Cowboys defensive end Tyrone Crawford excelled after moving inside the defensive line to the tackle position. Could another Cowboys defensive player have a similar evolution in 2015?
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After his first two seasons in Dallas were plagued by inconsistency and injury, Crawford exploded onto the national scene last season after changing positions to a three-technique defensive tackle. According to the stat sheet, the former third round selection out of Boise State recorded a total of 33 tackles and 3.0 sacks.
But Crawford’s ability to put pressure on opposing quarterbacks was his greatest contribution to the team in 2014. According to Pro Football Focus, the 25-year old was the 8th best rusher at his position, and the 13th best overall defensive tackle in the NFL. In fact, PFF recently called Crawford a secret superstar.
Crawford was undoubtedly the Cowboys best pass rusher in 2014, leading the team with 12 quarterback hits and racking up 25 quarterback hurries. Only defensive end Jeremy Mincey had more sacks (6.0) and hurries (37). But Crawford was more consistent.
Although the fourth-year defensive tackle seems to be on the edge of super stardom in Dallas, could another former defensive end have a similar growth spurt by following in his teammate’s footsteps? Current analyst for DallasCowboys.com Bryan Broaddus pointed out that potential for the little known Jack Crawford in a recent article.
"“I liked what I saw from Jack Crawford and his ability to line up at a couple of different spots and have some productive snaps,” Broaddus explained in a story that was posted to the team’s official website last week. “I especially like what I have seen from him playing as that under-tackle in this scheme, which has allowed him to use his quickness more and put him in a straight line to the ball. When he’s inside, what I have noticed about Crawford is that he doesn’t appear to have only one move. He is willing to try with an arm-over or a spin move to free himself and that allows him to work up the field better.”"
Here’s what Broaddus had to say a mere two days later about the fourth-year relative unknown.
"“Jack Crawford continues to get snaps at the under-tackle and he is making the most of his opportunities,” the former NFL scout wrote on Friday. “He has always had a little power to his game with a few moves to free himself, and I am starting to see that more often. He has also worked well with his other defensive line teammates when used in the twist game. There are snaps where he is actually getting home on the rush.”"
A three-year starter at Penn State, Jack Crawford was selected in the fifth round of the 2012 NFL Draft by the Oakland Raiders. After two dismal seasons in Oakland, where he recorded a total of 18 tackles and zero sacks in 19 games, the native of London, England signed with the Cowboys last season. In only six games, Crawford impressed coaches recording eight tackles and 2.0 sacks in limited snaps. He was placed on Injured Reserve in late November after he broke his thumb.
This offseason, it appears, Dallas is looking to move Crawford inside just like his namesake. Slated right now to be in a reserve role beside Tyron Crawford, the Cowboys are hoping Jack Crawford can make a similar career jump. Both Crawfords are in the final year of their respective deals in Dallas, so they should have plenty of motivation to impress this season.
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