It seems like the Dallas Cowboys have picked up, right where they left off in 2012, at least injury-wise.
On Sunday, Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said that the team might have lost defensive end Tyrone Crawford for the year with a torn left Achilles’ tendon, but are awaiting the results of an MRI.
Crawford went down awkwardly as he was doing slalom drills against tackling dummies and didn’t get up according to onlookers, who were close enough to see it happen. He couldn’t put any weight on his foot and was in noticeable pain as he was carted off the practice field.
“I can’t believe this,” Crawford said.
Crawford, the Cowboys third round pick in the 2012 draft, was seen by many as a player who could really benefit from the change to the 4-3 defense under Rod Marinelli, and many, including myself, thought he was poised for a breakout season in 2013.
In 2012, Crawford saw action in all 16 games and played a total of 303 snaps, which ranked as the fifth-most snaps among the Cowboys’ defensive linemen. As a 3-4 defensive end, he racked up 33 tackles, eight quarterback pressures and received a 9.0 grade against the run from Pro Football Focus, tying him for eighth among 3-4 defensive ends as a rookie.
I was really pulling for Crawford this season because I saw him as Anthony Spencer’s potential replacement. Now, that will have to get put on hold making not signing Spencer to a long-term deal seem as an even worse move than it is.
There are some veteran options available via free agency, as in the case of John Abraham, but the Cowboys have some young players they’ll probably want to see play first before making any knee-jerk reaction-type moves. One of those players could be Alex Albright who was rumored to be a better fit at defensive end in this scheme earlier this offseason.