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The Tyrone Crawford answer

3/31/2014

Recently, Todd Archer wrote about what position does Tyrone Crawford, the young defensive lineman, play.

Is he an end?

A tackle?

Well, at the NFL owners meetings, I asked coach Jason Garrett what position Crawford plays and here's the answer: "That is a great question," Garrett said. "He has really good versatility. We are going to look at the landscape of our defensive line and see where he fits in. We really think he can play all four spots. We will use him in a couple of different spots certainly. We want to get him into a role, into a position where he is most comfortable and get his body right."

Crawford tore his Achilles tendon on the first day of training camp practices in a non-contact drill. The Cowboys were upset about losing Crawford because he gives them flexibility in the lineup.

As the 2013 season progressed, the defensive line endured numerous injuries to four projected starters and one of them, Jay Ratliff, didn't play a single game for the Cowboys. Anthony Spencer couldn't finish one training camp practice and played only one game in 2013 due to a knee injury.

What compounded matters is the team didn't draft a defensive lineman in the first round of the draft, electing to trade down and eventually using the pick on center Travis Frederick. While Frederick had a solid rookie season, the lack of depth along the defensive line was glaring.

The Cowboys are projecting Crawford to return this season and hope he either starts or becomes a productive member as a backup.

"He will probably be a bigger guy and weigh a little more if he plays inside," Garrett said. "He will be a lighter guy if he plays outside. Even if he plays outside we will probably use him inside in certain situations. We will make that determination here relatively soon. We have talked about this as a staff and with him a little bit. And depending who else we have in that landscape, we will probably pick a lane with him and see where we want to start with him and see how he adjusts to it."