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Jack Crawford with opportunity to cash in

IRVING, Texas – In discussing the lack of “great seasons” from players in the final years of their contracts last week, Jack Crawford came up as the Dallas Cowboys’ best performer in a contract year.

It seems the coaches felt that way, too.

“One thing that [defensive tackles coach Leon Lett] said to me is that coming in they were hoping for me to be somebody they can count on to play across the D-line and he goes, ‘You did your job and did what we were hoping for and you kind of outperformed our expectations,’” Crawford said. “Looking back on it, I think that, for myself, is what I feel like I’m most proud of.”

And now Crawford gets to see what kind of attention he can draw on in free agency from the Cowboys or other teams.

Crawford had four sacks, three tackles for loss, 10 quarterback pressures and one pass deflection while being credited with 18 tackles by the coaches. He played all across the defensive line, but mostly tackle.

“You don’t just go into free agency and not even look at any offers,” Crawford said. “It is what it is. A lot of this stuff you don’t have a lot of control over. You don’t have as much control over it as people may think in free agency. You just have to kind of see what’s on the table and honestly I have no idea what to expect or how it works because I’ve never been in this position before.”

Crawford’s preference is to remain with the Cowboys.

“I love playing for [defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli],” Crawford said. “He’s the best coach I’ve been around. A lot of my success this year comes from just getting the opportunity to get coached by him and [Jason Garrett] and [special teams coach Rich Bisaccia]. I’m not sure what the future holds, but I’d love to be back here.”