But there’s only one way for Crawford to get his fellow “Rushmen” to stop calling him a rookie: Record the first sack of his NFL career.
Crawford has come close a lot this season. Heck, he might be the most effective sackless pass-rusher in NFL history, not that he wants such a title. He leads the Cowboys with 15 quarterback pressures but still has a goose egg in the sack column, something his coaches and teammates tend to remind Crawford of on occasion.
“Oh, a little bit is an understatement,” said Crawford, who has been a bull-rushing beast at defensive tackle after spending the first couple of games primarily playing defensive end. “Every day, every meeting, every minute, every play, every time 98 is on that screen.”
Crawford has done a sack dance. He had a premature celebration when he dropped New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, not realizing that Brees dumped the ball off to a back in the flat on the way down.
You can imagine how much fun was had with that one in the film room.
The 6-foot-4, 285-pound Crawford is proud of the way the Dallas defense has performed during the Cowboys' 5-1 start, but he's extremely frustrated that he has yet to finish the job on a pass rush. Don't try telling him it's just a matter of time, either.
"I’ve been feeling like that since Game 1, so I don’t even want to feel like that no more," Crawford said. "I just want it to happen. I just have to keep pushing and keep rushing, I mean hopefully it will come and when it comes I hope they keep coming."
Crawford will let his linemates call him a rookie until he finally gets his first sack. However, he said he will fight before carrying out the customary rookie duties such as bringing food for the veterans.
Defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli, who has a knack for creative nicknames, also calls Crawford “Cinderella Man.”
“He gave me a story behind it and the story behind Cinderella, like I haven’t seen the movie before,” Crawford said, laughing. “You know, Cinderella, she started off mopping floors and then she got her opportunity to become a beautiful princess.”
For Crawford, his first sack will feel like the moment the prince put the glass slipper on Cinderella’s foot.
“I’m still mopping floors until I get that first sack,” Crawford said.