Position, not number, matters to Tyrone Crawford

IRVING, Texas – When Tyrone Crawford played at Boise State, he wore No. 40, a number usually reserved for a safety. As a rookie last year for the Cowboys, he wore No. 70, which is more for an offensive lineman.

Entering his second season, Crawford finally has a number of a defensive lineman: No. 98.

“The number doesn’t really matter to me,” Crawford said.

The number might not matter to Crawford, but the position might. In the Cowboys’ 3-4 scheme last season, he was asked to gain weight -- getting up close to 300 pounds -- and be more of a plugger than playmaker.

He played in every game but he did not have a sack. He was credited with 33 tackles and five quarterback pressures.

“I felt like I had more in me,” Crawford said. “I could’ve made a lot more plays and helped this team out a lot more.”

With the move to the 4-3 this year, Crawford figures to be in position to help more. He is also back to 285 pounds. He is playing behind Anthony Spencer at defensive end, but because of Spencer’s knee injury, spent a lot of time working with the first-team defense.

He showed the ability to rush the passer, something he did not get a chance to do as much last year. Now he’s back to doing what he did at Boise State, where he had 13.5 sacks in two seasons.

“I loved it in college, loved paying on the outside in college,” Crawford said. “I’m happy we got into it this year and doing it.”