Crawford expected to start for Cowboys
Last season, the Dallas Cowboys knew they needed some pass rushing help on their defensive line, which is why owner Jerry Jones decided to take a risk on Greg Hardy. Things never panned out with Hardy because he kept saying the wrong things and getting into it with his coaches and teammates, and the team decided to part ways with Hardy after the season. Despite the move not panning out, Jerry Jones said he is still willing to take risks to help his team win. Due to Jones' commitment to winning, the Cowboys once again have favorable NFL football odds of making the playoffs.
After the season was over, Jack Crawford signed a one-year deal to stay with the team. At the time the move wasn¹t met with a lot of excitement, but that might change by the end of the season.
Cowboys' fans wanted the team to sign a big name player that will have a big impact on the team¹s defensive line. Crawford, who had four sacks last season, and Benson Mayowa, who had two sacks last year, weren't the guys the fans had in mind.
Despite the fan's thoughts, Crawford looks like he has earned a spot as a starter on the team's defensive line. Due to an injury to Terrell McClain, Crawford started the team¹s preseason opener against the Los Angeles Rams. In their game against the Miami Dolphins, he started at left defensive end, showing a versatility a lot of defensive linemen don¹t have.
Linebacker Sean Lee told reporters that Crawford is the type of player that finds a way to be effective regardless of where the coaches put him.
Lee, more than any other Cowboys player, knows what Crawford can do when given an opportunity because they were teammates at Penn State, and he saw Crawford up close and personal while he attended school there.
Crawford joined the Cowboys before the start of the 2015 season after being cut by the Oakland Raiders. The previous season, Crawford only played in six games due to injuries.
Last year, he played in all 16 games and was credited with 18 tackles, four sacks, 10 quarterback pressures, and three tackles for loss. He became a free agent after the season, but decided to remain with the Cowboys.
When asked why he decided to stay with the Cowboys, Crawford told reporters that he sensed an opportunity because the Cowboys have a system that requires a lot of rotation, which means players get plenty of playing time.
Crawford said it doesn't matter if the player is a rookie or a 10 year veteran, they will get some playing time in the Cowboys system. The defensive lineman said he noticed the difference when he got to Dallas from Oakland and was immediately given ample playing time.
Crawford's versatility and ability to play all four spots on the defensive line also helps when it comes to additional playing time, because he was able to fill in for players that got hurt seamlessly.
While Crawford's numbers might not jump out at you when compared to players like Justin Houston or J.J. Watt, the disruption he causes on the defensive line makes up for the lack of gaudy stats.