Tyrone Crawford wants his Cowboys home to remain inside

IRVING, Texas -- Tyrone Crawford has been keeping an eye on the happenings at defensive end for the Dallas Cowboys this spring.

With Randy Gregory facing a four-game suspension and DeMarcus Lawrence looking at a similar penalty, the Cowboys floated the possibility of Crawford moving to defensive end after Maliek Collins was picked in the third round.

The hope was that Collins would be able to fill in at defensive tackle for the first month of the year and Crawford could slide outside to the position he opened the 2014 season at as a starter. Collins suffered a broken foot in the first organized team activity and might not be ready until the season opener.

But Crawford believes the offseason has been a good one for the remaining defensive ends.

"When guys step up and you see guys like Benson [Mayowa] and Jack Crawford, those guys that have been playing outside, David Irving, it's big," Crawford said. "It makes you feel a lot more comfortable."

Crawford knows defensive line play in an offseason hardly translates to defensive line play in full pads for training camp, but defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli made similar comments last week.

Crawford would move to defensive end if the coaches asked -- he just hopes he is not asked. He would prefer to stay at defensive tackle.

"That's where I think I'm best, that's where I'm getting most comfortable," Crawford said. "That's where I want to be great."

It's also where the Cowboys paid him to be great. He was given a $45 million extension last summer. He had a career-high five sacks but played most of the season with a shoulder injury that required offseason surgery.

Crawford's career took off when he moved to the "under" tackle in 2014. He was able to use his quickness and strength to his advantage against the guards and centers. He had three sacks and 29 pressures for the season.

So far in the offseason, Crawford has not taken a snap at end. Maybe that will change when the Cowboys go to Oxnard, California, for training camp.

"It's two different animals," Crawford said of the end and tackle positions. "It's a man's world inside and [Lawrence] is going to hate me for saying that, but when I was playing end [in 2014], it was definitely an easier practice and easier year. Not easier, but it was less physical. It was easier on the body. You didn't have to face as many injuries and bumps and bruises through the season.

"But under tackle is what I love and what I want to keep working to be great at."