The third in a series of Q&A's about the Cowboys draft class of 2012 with the people who knew them best: the writers who covered them in college. Today, we've brought in Kevan Lee from One Bronco Nation Under God, SB Nation's Boise State blog, to talk all things Tyrone Crawford.
1) Crawford had a pretty unusual path to even get to Boise. Is there anything different about his style of play that comes from learning the game in Canada?
No, he's your pretty standard football-playing defensive end. Boise State coached all the Canada out of him. He's country strong and thick with athleticism that just isn't fair for a man his size, so except a flourish of bull rushes, spins, and edge holding. In Canada, they call edge holding "holding the bag of milk."
2) What type of defensive scheme did the Broncos run? It sounds like the Cowboys are planning to use Crawfordas a 3-4 DE, is that something he's going to need a while to adjust too?
Boise State runs a base 4-2-5 defense, and Crawford played the wide-side defensive end. The Broncos occasionally shifted into 3-3-5 and 3-4 looks, where Crawford remained at end. A base 3-4 may take some getting used to, but it should not be an entirely foreign concept to him. I think adjusting to the size and speed of the NFL in addition to understanding the responsibilities of a 3-4 end will be toughest.
3) Is he ready to step in immediately as a pass rusher at the next level?
I see Crawford as an all-around solid football player and less so as a pass rusher. Can he get to the quarterback? Absolutely. But I think his value will be in making the Cowboys defense as a whole a lot better. He'll be solid against the run, play sound assignment football, and make the most of his opportunities to make plays. Whether or not that results in 10 sacks, I don't know. I have a hard time seeing Cowboy fans disappointed in his play.
4) How was he against the run at Boise State?
He's a stout fella who can stand up well when the play comes his way and stay home when it isn't. Boise State had a fantastic run defense, and you can't have a fantastic run defense without defensive ends that have bought into the system.
5) Who were the best OT's he was matched up against in college and how did he perform against them?
Crawford's biggest challenges probably came against Georgia and TCU. Against the Bulldogs, he had a quiet game, but again, the defense overall played fantastic. Against TCU, he had one of the plays of the game, returning a fumble for a score right after halftime. He made an impact, no doubt.