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May 19, 2014

Cowboys counting on Tyrone Crawford to become the backup three-technique

Tyrone Crawford didn’t get a chance to show the Cowboys much of anything last year. He tore his Achilles on the first day of training camp.

This year, Crawford hopes to show that he can be a defensive tackle.

The Cowboys have moved the third-year veteran to the 3-technique, hoping he and Henry Melton can provide a good one-two punch at the most important position in the Tampa Two.

“I just want to get him in a position where he can really showcase what he can do,” Cowboys defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli said. “That position either you showcase or you don’t. If he can’t do that, then yeah, he’s a good left end, too. He’s solid, really good at left end. But you always have to have at least two of those guys [at the three-technique]. You have to. It’s a hard position to play. If you’ve got a guy who can come in and rotate with a guy in there, boy, it’s tough, and in third downs, if you find a nickel inside rusher…. I think he’s got a lot of that. I’m going to really challenge him, and we’ll see how it goes.”

Marinelli said Crawford has gotten bigger and stronger. The Cowboys listed him at 284 pounds last year. The Bears listed Melton at 295 last year.

“I would sure like to see [Crawford find a home inside],” Marinelli said. “See how he comes in and does it and explodes. I just think the movement and the explosion he has. He’s strong. He’s a guy who puts on weight or takes it off. It’s easy for him.”

-- Charean Williams

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