Tyrone Crawford makes early strides

OXNARD, Calif. -- Progress during a training camp can be measured in many different ways. For Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman Tyrone Crawford, one day might be enough to measure it. Just because he made it through the first practice.

Actually, he made it through the first two days.

Crawford suffered a torn Achilles during the first practice of the 2013 camp and missed the season.

The injury wasn’t in his mind when he was on the practice field on Thursday, but it was when he was asked about it after the morning walkthrough.

“I got a lot done this offseason,” Crawford said. “I know a lot of people think when people get injured they don’t do anything, but I did a lot this offseason and throughout the season last year. It was definitely a tough time for me, going through that injury, my first season-ending injury. I’d never sat out more than a game before, so I’ve got a lot done, a lot of learning and I’m definitely excited to be back.”

During the 2013 offseason, Jason Hatcher predicted great things for Crawford. During this offseason, Tony Romo predicted great things for Crawford. Jerry Jones has continuously lauded him as well. It has set a high bar for a player who did not record a sack as a rookie in 2012.

“I feel like I felt coming in last year,” Crawford said. “I feel real confidence. I love being coached on Coach [Rod] Marinelli and I know if I continue to be coachable with [Leon Lett and Ben Bloom], I feel the opportunities are endless for me and this entire defense actually.”

Crawford lined up at left defensive end with the second team on Thursday but he has the flexibility to play defensive tackle. He said he has not been told he is an end or a tackle, so he'll play both. He said he will stay close to 280-285 pounds, which will help him to be quick enough outside and strong enough inside.

“Quicker reads, just the techniques and different things you’ve got to adjust to when you’re moving back and forth,” Crawford said. “It’s not that hard.”