Breaking Down Cowboys’ 2012 Draft: Tyrone Crawford, DE, Boise State
With the chaos of the draft subsiding, I’ve had a chance to review some of the Cowboys’ 2012 draft picks in greater detail. Up first: Boise State defensive end Tyrone Crawford.
At 6’4”, 275 pounds, Crawford is a long, lean player who can add bulk to his frame as he develops into a five-technique defensive end for Dallas. In a league that is more and more about speed every season, I like the fact that Crawford is “undersized” for a 3-4 end. The Cowboys desperately need some sort of pass rush out of their defensive ends, and Crawford could potentially give that to them. He racked up 13.5 sacks in only 11 career starts at Boise State.
Crawford is very raw, playing just one season of major college football after transferring from junior college. You can see a lack of experience reflected in his mechanics; Crawford is unpolished and will need time to develop in the NFL. At this time, he isn’t a great rusher off the edge, lacking a great “get-off” and showing little burst. The good news is he’ll be an end in Dallas, not an outside linebacker, and elite explosiveness at that position is rare.
Crawford can have trouble getting off blocks in the run game. He’s a strong player with long arms, so the skill set is there to develop into a better run defender. Again, he’ll need some time to develop.
Like all Jason Garrett draft picks, Crawford is a hard worker. He’s absolutely relentless on the field, never giving up on a play. Although his play recognition is suspect, that’s to be expected with an inexperienced player. You can see a glimpse of Crawford’s potential impact at the 2:42 mark above.
In 2012, I think you’ll see Crawford contribute on nickel downs. Along with Jason Hatcher and Sean Lissemore, Crawford will probably rotate in as a situational pass-rushing five-technique until he adds a little bulk. Although Crawford doesn’t necessarily have all the tools to make a big impact as a rookie, his career outlook appears brighter. The skill set is there to develop into something special, but Cowboys fans will need to be patient with this one.
Pick Grade: C+