Sep 25

BTB: Seven Things We’re Thinking About The Cowboys Play In The Trenches

Blog word.

After spending a good deal of time the last two weeks watching the Dallas Cowboys line play. on both sides of the ball, here are a number of observations that, on their own, are not worthy of a column. After a while, they sort of pile up, though, so here they are, shared with the world.

Crawford’s move

Tyrone Crawford’s move is not merely about the lack of DE depth. He performed well there. In fact when they drafted him, I thought they might be thinking of him as an elephant-type OLB, like how they used Greg Ellis.

But after a disappointing first game, Crawford was much worse in the Washington game, inside. There were rumors he was not right and I wonder if he is lacking some functional strength from some sort of lingering issue. His comments on being moved outside were about not getting beaten up and feeling good… and that made me go “hmmmm”.

Crawford’s move, pt. II

Nonetheless it seems like a good thing, as the defense stiffened considerably with that move. He would makes a good strong-side DE and he responded with pressure and a sack. But the move is largely possible because of the play of the other DTs. Terrell McClain has been everyone’s darling. Cedric Thornton has been a bit maligned but if you actually watch him he’s been quite good. The player that really makes this possible, however, has been Maliek Collins. Having missed most of training camp, Collins was expected to ease his way in. Instead he’s proving a strong part of a strong rotational group and is allowing Dallas to use some of their more talented interior players to bolster the outside edge to good effect. He’s looking like a terrific pick, although his third-round pick was only seven spots behind Randy Gregory’s second round selection… so maybe our expectations should be more Kawann Short level than Khyri Thornton.