Many expect the Dallas Cowboys to take a big step forward in 2020. They have a new head coach in Mike McCarthy, executed an almost perfect NFL draft and have several players coming back who will be healthy after dealing with injuries over the last year. One of those players is defensive lineman Tyrone Crawford, who was placed on injured reserve after dealing with hip issues during the 2019 season.
In 2018, Crawford started in 15 games and recorded 34 combined tackles and a career-high 5.5 sacks. With Maliek Collins and David Irving both missing time, he was able to step up and make an impact for the Cowboys' defense. The versatile lineman was someone to watch entering his eighth season, but he played in just four games before he elected to undergo season-ending hip surgery. The injury had actually been bothering him since the offseason, but Crawford originally thought he could battle through the pain. Now that he has recovered, he says that he's feeling "awesome" and is looking forward to returning to the field.
"Obviously, double hip surgery is nothing to play around with. But I'm feeling awesome, ready to go," Crawford said, via the Cowboys' official website.
"Surprisingly, I'm feeling great. I didn't think I was going to be feeling as good as I am at this point."
Crawford was originally drafted by the Cowboys in the third round of the 2012 NFL Draft out of Boise State. In 96 career games, he has recorded 180 combined tackles and 23 sacks. While his starting spot along the defensive line was solidified entering 2019, the said can't be the same this year. Demarcus Lawrence will, of course, start at one defensive end spot, the Cowboys went out and signed defensive tackles Gerald McCoy and Dontari Poe from the Carolina Panthers and also acquired former All-Pro defensive end Aldon Smith.
While it's been almost five years since he has played in an NFL game, the former Pro Bowler could play an important role for the Cowboys if he was indeed reinstated. The Cowboys are also waiting to hear about Randy Gregory's status -- as he filed for reinstatement earlier this offseason as well.
The Cowboys had several problems when it came to the defensive line in 2019, but it appears this unit has the potential to be a major strength for this team in 2020.