Tyrone Crawford

NFC East Rumors: Redskins, Cowboys, Giants

Jay Gruden studied this year’s quarterback class extensively, watching every throw each of the high- and mid-tier prospects made. The sixth-year Redskins coach said he did more work on this year’s QB class than he had in any draft since 2011, when the Bengals, Gruden’s employer at the time, selected Andy Dalton. In addition to Dwayne Haskins‘ arm strength, Gruden said the one-year Ohio State starter’s presence reminded him of Cam Newton.

They’re all pretty confident kids, bright-eyed. I was impressed with the entire class,” Gruden said, via Albert Breer of SI.com. “But (Haskins) has a demeanor and aura about him, kind of similar to Cam Newton coming out, just an aura of confidence. There’s something about him. When you’re around him, you feel like he’s got it, everything’s going to be OK — that he’s going to be successful, because he believes it.”

Haskins and Case Keenum will split the Redskins’ first-team reps, with Colt McCoy still out because of his fractured fibula injury. However, McCoy is expected to participate partially in Washington’s minicamp and be ready for training camp, per Adam Schefter of ESPN.com (Twitter link). While Gruden said Haskins is no lock to play this year, nearly every recent first-round passer chosen becoming a first-season starter points to the newcomer taking the reins early.

Here is the latest from the NFC East, shifting to news out of Dallas:

  • The Cowboys will not have Taco Charlton in action for a bit. The former first-round pick underwent ankle surgery recently, Calvin Watkins of The Athletic tweets. While Watkins describes this as a minor procedure, Charlton will likely miss Dallas’ offseason activities. He is expected to be ready for camp. This marks the second operation Charlton has undergone this offseason. Shortly after the Cowboys’ 2018 season concluded, the 24-year-old defensive end had shoulder surgery.
  • One of Charlton’s defensive line mates may have to face the prospect of missing regular-season time. Tyrone Crawford was popped with a misdemeanor charge of unlawful assembly related to the March incident at a Florida bar, Jeremy Bergman of NFL.com writes. An affidavit indicates Crawford, after being removed from the bar, threw punches at multiple security officers and hit at least one of them. This seems likely to produce a suspension for the veteran defensive lineman.
  • Cowboys seventh-round running back Mike Weber injured his knee over the weekend, but it appears he avoided a serious setback. Weber went through an MRI but was back on the practice field Sunday, per Breer. Weber is expected to compete for time behind Ezekiel Elliott and fourth-round pick Tony Pollard, with Weber profiling as more of a traditional back compared to the versatile Pollard. The Cowboys lost previous Elliott backup Rod Smith to the Giants in free agency.
  • Mike Remmers will not have a free pass to the Giants’ starting lineup. Offensive line coach Hal Hunter named incumbent Chad Wheeler the first-string right tackle last week, but that was before Remmers was signed. “It is up to (Wheeler) to hold that position,” Hunter said, via Ryan Dunleavy of NJ.com. “It is up to everyone else to beat him out.” Remmers’ contract (one year, $2.5MM), history (64 starts) and connections to Dave Gettleman and Pat Shurmur would point to him having the upper hand. Wheeler took over for Ereck Flowers early last season and graded as Pro Football Focus’ third-worst full-time tackle. The Giants were connected to multiple free agent right tackles this offseason.

East Notes: Cowboys, Crawford, Jets, Bills

The latest from the AFC and NFC East divisions:

  • Cowboys defensive lineman Tyrone Crawford was caught on camera brawling inside of a Florida bar, as TMZ details. The 6’4″, 280-pound lineman is shown fighting off four bouncers at once and holding his own. Then, the fight spilled outside, where Crawford got tangled up with multiple cops. Interestingly, Crawford was not arrested and has not been charged with a crime. However, the NFL might have something to say about the incident. After losing Randy Gregory and David Irving to indefinite bans, the Cowboys can ill afford to lose anyone else on the D-Line for the start of the 2019 season.
  • Center was a major need for the Jets this offseason, but they did not make offers to Mitch Morse or Matt Paradis, the top two centers in this year’s free agent class (via Manish Mehta of the Daily News). Instead, they re-upped Jonotthan Harrison on a two-year deal with the hope that he can compete with other versatile interior line additions to come. Brett Jones, who has drawn interest from the Jets and a quintet of other clubs, could be added to the mix.
  • Seahawks free agent Maurice Alexander, a longtime starter for the Rams, will visit the Bills on Thursday and Friday, a source tells NFL.com’s Ian Rapoport (on Twitter).

Injury Updates: Crawford, Gurley, Foles

Cowboys defensive lineman Tyrone Crawford was carted off the field today following a scary collision with Buccaneers offensive lineman Ryan Jensen. Fortunately, it sounds like the veteran will be alright. Charean Williams of ProFootballTalk.com writes that a scan and MRI of Crawford’s neck came back as negative, and the lineman has been released from the hospital.

“Everything checks out very good,” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said. “I’m really pleased with the initial MRIs, all the examinations. He went on to the hospital and had those examinations. . . .He doesn’t seem to have structural issues at all.”

Crawford is having another productive season in 2018, compiling 34 tackles and a career-high 5.5 sacks. Pro Football Focus currently ranks Crawford 36th among 116 eligible interior defenders. If the lineman is forced to miss any time, the Cowboys could turn to former first-rounder Taco Charlton to fill in.

Let’s check out some more injury notes from around the NFL…

  • Rams running back Todd Gurley was forced to miss today’s win against the Cardinals, but it doesn’t sound like the Pro Bowler will be out for an extended amount of time. Mike Florio of ProFootballTalk.com reports that the injury is “really a day-to-day thing,” and the team will continue to evaluate the ailment. While Gurley’s status for next weekend is still up in the air, it sounds like the running back will be good to go come playoff time. Fortunately for the Rams, the team’s running game didn’t seem to miss a beat without Gurley, as recently-signed veteran C.J. Anderson finished today’s contest with 167 rushing yards and one touchdown on 20 carries.
  • Eagles quarterback Nick Foles was briefly knocked out of today’s win over the Texans after suffering a hit from Jadeveon Clowney. While backup Nate Sudfeld made a brief appearance, Foles was able to return to the game and lead Philly to a much-needed victory. It also sounds like the veteran’s status for next week isn’t in doubt, as Foles told reporters that he is doing “great” (via Michael David Smith of ProFootballTalk.com). The signal-caller did acknowledge that he had X-rays taken after the game.
  • DeSean Jackson played today despite being list as questionable with a thumb injury, but the Buccaneers wideout was knocked out of the second half of his team’s game against the Cowboys with a foot injury. As Williams points out, the veteran lost his shoe on his only reception of the game, and he subsequently limped to the sideline before “collapsing in pain.” It sounds like Jackson doesn’t have much of a future in Tampa Bay, and today may have marked his final game with the organization. If the receiver doesn’t play next week, he’ll have finished the season with 41 receptions for 774 yards and four touchdowns.
  • Vontaze Burfict‘s return from a concussion didn’t last very long. The Bengals linebacker was knocked out of today’s game against the Browns with a concussion (via Darin Gantt of ProFootballTalk.com). The veteran had just returned from a two-game absence, and he showed his dissatisfaction with today’s concussion by “angrily snatch[ing] his arm away from a member of the team’s athletic training staff.” This would mark the 28-year-old’s seventh reported concussion since he entered the NFL in 2012.
  • A pair of 49ers wideouts suffered injuries today, but they don’t sound as bad as they may have looked. Matt Barrows of The Athletic tweets that rookie receiver Dante Pettis suffered an MCL injury, which is much better than the ACL injury that some were expecting. The second-round rookie has been productive in recent weeks, and he’s hauled in 24 receptions for 446 yards and five scores this season. Meanwhile, teammate Marquise Goodwin suffered an Achilles injury, but Matt Maiocco of NBC Sports Bay Area tweets that the injury isn’t serious. After a breakout season in 2017, Goodwin has struggled this year, compiling 20 receptions for 366 yards and four touchdowns in 10 games.

Cowboys DL Tyrone Crawford Carted Off Field

Cowboys defensive lineman Tyrone Crawford was carted off the field during today’s game against the Buccaneers (via ESPN’s Todd Archer). The veteran suffered an apparent neck injury during the second play of the game, and he was subsequently transported to the hospital.

Replays showed Crawford’s head and neck collide into the shoulder of Buccaneers offensive lineman Ryan Jensen. The 29-year-old was moving his arms and legs following the injury, and he lifted both arms as he was carted off. The Cowboys’ defensive captain also had his head stabilized to a board before exiting the field.

With the Cowboys pushing for a playoff spot, the team will now be struggling to replace one of their defensive leaders. The 2012 third-rounder was having another productive season in 2018, compiling 34 tackles and a career-high 5.5 sacks. Pro Football Focus ranked Crawford 36th among 116 eligible interior defenders, the second-straight season where he’s rated as above-average.

While it will be tough for the Cowboys to replace Crawford’s leadership and production, the team does have some depth at defensive tackle. Randy Gregory replaced Crawford following the injury, and the team could also turn to 2017 first-rounder Taco Charlton. The sophomore was active today after having been a healthy scratch for the Cowboys’ previous three games.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

NFC Rumors: Cowboys, Cardinals, Easley

Tyrone Crawford spent his 2017 season at defensive end, but the veteran Cowboys lineman’s been known to move around. The team is asking him to do so again. The Cowboys are shifting Crawford back to defensive tackle, a role he mostly played from 2014-15 before being largely stationed at end the past two seasons. Injuries to inside players, David Irving‘s suspension and the team having amassed more depth at end prompted the move, Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram notes. Crawford’s working as a starter alongside nose tackle Antwaun Woods.

This move has opened the door for an interesting setup at end. Hill adds Randy Gregory is now working with the first team across from DeMarcus Lawrence. Recently fully reinstated, Gregory has never started an NFL game and has only played in two contests since the 2015 season. Taco Charlton and Dorance Armstrong are serving as Dallas’ backup ends presently, per Hill. While it’s not a lock Gregory will be a starter in Week 1, it could well be headed that way. Irving’s return from suspension would give the Cowboys the kind of depth they haven’t possessed up front in years.

Here’s the latest from Dallas, along with a couple of other NFC cities as these teams prepare for their dress-rehearsal preseason games.

  • The most likely scenario for Travis Frederick is a stay on injured reserve to start the season, David Moore of the Dallas Morning News writes. He would then be eligible to return for the final eight games of the season, in the event he’s able to do so. The Cowboys are not ready to concede that their All-Pro center will be IR-bound yet, and Moore adds they’re likely unwilling to face the reality Frederick likely won’t be at his best if/when he does return in 2018. Joe Looney is now Dallas’ starting center, and the Cowboys will need to determine soon if they are going to look for outside help at the position. There isn’t much center help of note available, however.
  • A defensive lineman throughout his career, Dominique Easley is now working as a standup outside linebacker for the Rams. Wade Phillips confirmed the move, one made shortly after the team activated the fifth-year defender off the PUP list Monday. This doesn’t look to be an experiment, either. “I think this gives him a little more freedom to utilize his abilities. We even played Mario Williams at outside ‘backer,” Phillips said, via Rams.com, of his former Houston pupil. “(Easley is) is a real strong player can play that position and, again, not have as much wear and tear.” Easley’s suffered three ACL tears, the most recent shelving him last season. The former first-round pick’s move to outside linebacker also adds a higher-profile player to a Rams position group that doesn’t feature many big names.
  • A.Q. Shipley‘s Cardinals extension won’t include much new money. The veteran center can make $2MM in 2019, including incentives, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com tweets. Shipley’s making $1.5MM in base salary this season. These figures are fairly modest for a player who’s started all 32 Cards games since the beginning of the 2016 season, but Shipley will be 33 next year and just tore an ACL.

Tyrone Crawford Suffers Ankle Injury

9:49pm: The preliminary diagnosis is a lateral ankle sprain, which isn’t a long-term injury, tweets Ed Werder. Crawford may miss the entirety of the preseason, but should be fine for the long-term, per Ian Rapoport of NFL.com (Twitter link).

8:26pm: Cowboys defensive lineman Tyrone Crawford left practice on a cart Tuesday with a lower right ankle injury, Clarence Hill of the Star Telegram was among those to report (on Twitter). Crawford looked to be wiping tears from his eyes as he exited, per the Dallas Morning News’ Jon Machota (via Twitter), which doesn’t sound promising. The fear is that Crawford suffered a break as a result of getting tangled up on a running play with Ezekiel Elliott, tweets Mike Garafolo of NFL.com. However, the Cowboys “have no idea yet,” said executive vice president Stephen Jones (Twitter link via David Moore of the Dallas Morning News).

Tyrone Crawford

The 27-year-old Crawford is no stranger to serious injuries, having lost the entire 2013 campaign to a torn Achilles. The four-year veteran also missed time last season, sitting out two games, but he did pile up the third-most sacks (4.5) on a Cowboys defense that finished 13th in the NFL in that department. Crawford also trailed only Maliek Collins in snaps among Cowboys D-linemen (624), and he ranked a respectable 56th in performance among Pro Football Focus’ 110 qualified edge defenders.

Losing Crawford for an extended period would be the latest significant hit to a Dallas D-line that will go without the suspended trio of Damontre Moore, David Irving and Randy Gregory for two, four and 16 games, respectively, in 2017. Thanks in part to those players’ bans, the Cowboys’ top ends aside from Crawford are Benson Mayowa, who totaled a team-leading six sacks in a part-time role last season, the oft-injured Demarcus Lawrence and first-round rookie Taco Charlton.

It’s possible a major Crawford injury would lead to the Cowboys checking in on the free agent market for established pass rushers. Dwight Freeney, Mario Williams, Paul Kruger and Trent Cole are the most proven options available.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Chiefs, Lynn, Draft, Crawford

Andy Reid plans to use Tyreek Hill more next season. After the rookie began the year as mostly a special teams-only presence, he became featured as a frequent part of the Chiefs‘ offense, and Reid wants to increase his involvement.

He was averaging 35 plays a game [in 2016],” Reid said on a SiriusXM NFL Radio appearance (via Alex Marvez of the Sporting News). “Maybe he can double that or at least take it up a couple notches and allow him to get in more in a starting role. … I’d expect him to learn that whole [playbook] by the end of all the OTAs and training camp and then be even more of a threat.”

Hill scored 12 touchdowns and became a unanimous All-Pro selection as a return man. The polarizing speedster emerged as Chiefs’ best No. 2 receiver candidate in years by catching 61 passes for 593 yards. Hill becoming a bigger part of the Chiefs’ offense lessens their need for pass-catching help. During previous Reid years, the team relied on a committee approach to fill that role.

Here’s more from the Chiefs and the rest of the league.

  • Reid addressed Eric Berry‘s status as well, wanting the Chiefs to retain the decorated UFA safety. “We love E.B. I think everybody in our building would ditto that,” Reid said. “If we can get this thing done, that’s obviously a priority in the offseason. It’s been a good marriage.” It would cost the Chiefs nearly $13MM to apply the franchise tag to Berry again, but Tyrann Mathieu‘s $12MM-AAV+ deal raised the bar for safeties since the Chiefs’ last negotiations with Chiefs management. Berry acknowledged earlier this week he believed his agent has spoken with the Chiefs about a deal. Kansas City is projected to possess $4.6MM in cap room but can create over $16MM more by releasing Jamaal Charles and Nick Foles.
  • Prior to the Chargers entering the race, Anthony Lynn saw the Bills as the best opportunity for him. The newest Los Angeles HC was connected to every team in need of a coach, save for the 49ers. “To me, [Buffalo] was the best place for me to be because I knew the personnel, I knew all the people I was working with and I think that was the quickest turnaround,” Lynn said, via Vic Carucci of the Buffalo News. Although, after the Chargers became interested, Lynn said he quickly pivoted to their situation. “They have a quarterback; they have key players at every position, at skill positions, and a young, talented defense, I thought that right there was a great opportunity,” he said. “And that’s where I put all my focus, was in that job after the season was over, and thank God it came through.”
  • Senior Bowl executive director and former Browns GM Phil Savage did not speak highly of this year’s quarterback class. “It’s probably not a good year to say, ‘We’ve got to have one,’ ” Savage said, per Tom Pelissero of USA Today. “You never know, but there’s questions with more guys this year.” Savage isn’t the first to cast doubt on the Deshaun Watson-, DeShone Kizer– and Mitch Trubisky-fronted class. Multiple execs expressed similar sentiments recently.
  • Cowboys defensive lineman Tyrone Crawford underwent shoulder surgery for the second straight offseason, Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports. Crawford faces an uncertain future as a starter, Hill writes. The veteran lineman, though, cannot be realistically cut this year. The Cowboys, who signed him to a five-year deal in 2015, would be saddled with $10.4MM in dead money.
  • Busy retooling their defensive staff, the Saints also interviewed Redskins assistant special teams coach Brad Banta for their special teams coach opening, Adam Caplan of ESPN.com tweets.

Cowboys, Tyrone Crawford Restructure Contract

Tyrone CrawfordThe Cowboys have restructured the contract of defensive tackle Tyrone Crawford, opening up about $4.4MM in cap room, according to Todd Archer of ESPNDallas.com (Twitter link). The move will help create some additional flexibility for Dallas as the team goes about its offseason business.

Crawford, who inked a new contract extension in September, was set to earn a fully guaranteed $6.75MM base salary in 2016. Instead, he’ll reduce that salary to $1.25MM, converting $5.5MM into a signing bonus. That bonus will be paid to him immediately, but will be spread out on the Cowboys’ cap for the next five seasons at a rate of $1.1MM annually.

While the move reduces Crawford’s 2016 cap number from $8.75MM to $4.35MM, it increases his cap charges in future seasons. From 2017 to 2020, Crawford will count for at least $9MM annually against the Cowboys’ cap, including $10.35MM in 2017.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Extra Points: Cowboys, Wilkerson

The Cowboys made the wise decision to select ex-Notre Dame offensive guard Zack Martin 16th overall in the 2014 draft, but they did so against owner Jerry Jones’ wishes, chief operating officer Stephen Jones – Jerry’s son – told David Moore of the Dallas Morning News.

“Let’s go over this quarterback thing one more time,” said Jerry Jones, despite hearing endorsements of Martin from Stephen Jones, senior director of college/pro personnel Will McClay, head coach Jason Garrett and offensive coordinator Scott Linehan.

The Cowboys then tried – and failed – to move down in the draft before settling on Martin.

“Son, if you want to do special things in life, you can’t keep picking and doing things down the middle,” Jerry said to Stephen afterward. “What we just did was down the middle.”

Martin did special things as a rookie, earning Pro Bowl and All-Pro honors. Quarterback Johnny Manziel, whom Dallas could have taken instead of Martin, had a poor first year both on and off the field and enters his second season backing up journeyman Josh McCown in Cleveland.

Here’s more from around the NFL:

  • CBS Sports’ Jason La Canfora reported earlier Saturday that the Jets and defensive lineman Muhammad Wilkerson are far apart on contract talks and unlikely to continue negotiating when the season starts Sunday. However, there is not – nor has there ever been – a hard Sunday deadline to get a deal done, according to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News (Twitter link). That means the two sides could still hammer out a long-term extension during the season.
  • Titans head coach Ken Whisenhunt, speaking to SiriusXM NFL Radio (Twitter link), showered praise on rookie quarterback Marcus Mariota. “It was amazing how quickly our team bonded with Mariota. He has a businesslike professional approach. Doesn’t get rattled.” Mariota, the second overall pick in this year’s draft, will square off against the No. 1 selection, Bucs QB Jameis Winston, on Sunday.
  • The Browns won’t improve on their 7-9 record from 2014 without another big year from their defensive backfield, writes Tom Reed of Cleveland.com. The group includes three Pro Bowlers in Joe Haden, Tashaun Gipson and Donte Whitner. Gipson believes he’s part of the best secondary in the league. “Any time you get together this kind of talent nothing bad can go wrong in our eyes,” he said. “If we execute the game plan and play fast I feel there’s no better secondary out than us.”
  • The five-year, $45MM extension the Cowboys signed Tyrone Crawford to Saturday makes the Eagles’ recent four-year, $29MM pact with Mychal Kendricks look better, opines former Eagles and Browns executive Joe Banner. Kendricks’ deal is the best one any team has given out this year, Banner thinks (Twitter link).

Cowboys Sign Tyrone Crawford To Extension

5:55pm: Crawford received a $10MM signing bonus, according to Archer (Twitter link).

5:00pm: Crawford’s deal includes $17.5MM in fully guaranteed money, Ian Rapoport of NFL.com reports (on Twitter).

4:54pm: After word surfaced of the Cowboys’ interest in signing Tyrone Crawford to an extension, the team acted quickly. Crawford agreed to a five-year, $45MM pact that includes $27.5MM in guaranteed money, according to ESPN.com’s Adam Schefter and Todd Archer (on Twitter).

The 6-foot-4, 275-pound defender confirmed the extension in a series of tweets, including the signing of the contract.

The fourth-year player emerged last season after starting no games in his first two years, one of which was derailed by a season-ending injury, and became a dependable defensive tackle for the Cowboys.

The 25-year-old Crawford is coming off a year where he rated as Pro Football Focus’ 15th-best defensive tackle out of 81 graded. Playing the 3-technique job in Rod Marinelli‘s 4-3 scheme, Crawford only recorded three sacks last season, but will now be supplemented by stronger edge-rushing talent in Greg Hardy and Randy Gregory, which points toward that figure increasing this season.

Crawford’s $9MM-per-year salary that will come from this extension rates him firmly as the seventh-highest-paid 4-3 defensive tackle, coming in just behind the eight-figure club that begins with Ndamukong Suh and ends with Kyle Williams.

Illustrating what the team believes could be ahead for its 2012 third-round pick, Crawford will earn a salary, however, that will place him well ahead of the next tier, with the Colts’ Arthur Jones next on that list at $6.6MM per season.