Tyrone Crawford had hoop dreams first

IRVING, Texas -- Tyrone Crawford did not take the ordinary route to the NFL.

He grew up in Windsor, Ontario, Canada not with hockey dreams, but basketball dreams.

“I never got into hockey much,” the Cowboys’ third-round pick said. “Definitely hoop dreams. I thought I was that good.”

He did not start playing football until ninth grade and did not realize he could become good enough to play in college until his junior year. He didn’t think about playing in the NFL until last season after spending two years at a junior college.

“I definitely consider myself a student of the game,” said Crawford, whose only draft visits were to Indianapolis and Jacksonville. “I’m definitely going to go into the meeting room to learn a lot from the veterans and just learn a lot from the coaches and try to get better every day.”

While he did not grow up soaking up the NFL, he knew about the Cowboys.

“My perception was hearing my mom scream in the background because that’s her favorite team,” Crawford said. “We knew it was America’s Team and that’s pretty much how Canada feels.”