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November 14, 2012

Cowboys rooke Tyrone Crawford likes the way he's playing, but he'd like some stats to show for it

Rookie defensive end Tyrone Crawford has played in every game, but he’d like more to show for it than 14 tackles.

“Kind of, yeah,” he said. “I like to see progress when I’m making plays. I haven’t seen much, you know, stats, when I’m out there. But I feel like I’m playing well.”

Crawford is probably going to get a chance to fill the stat sheet now. The Cowboys might be asking more of him and fellow rookie Ben Bass in the absence of Kenyon Coleman, who went on injured reserve this week with a triceps injury.

Crawford played 17 defensive snaps against Philadelphia and 19 the previous week against Atlanta, his busiest two-week stretch of the season. He produced five tackles and one quarterback pressure, knocking down Nick Foles.

That was a good feeling, he said.

“It would have felt better if he had the ball in his hands,” Crawford said.

Crawford said he is learning to pass rush from the interior defensive line.

“I never really was much of a 3-technique player in college,” he said. “Actually, none at all. Here, that’s all I rush out of. Getting better at that. Just need to keep improving.”

Coach Jason Garrett said Crawford is showing his athleticism even as he learns.

“There’s no question he has to learn to play blocks better, play situations better,” Garrett said. “He really works hard at practice. He learns from his game experience. ... We’ve seen a lot of stuff that we thought we would see from him, why we drafted him as high as we did. He’s a very active, athletic player.”

-- Carlos Mendez

Twitter @calexmendez

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