Tyrone Crawford is confident he’ll regain his top form next season despite undergoing his second consecutive offseason shoulder surgery.
Crawford had his right shoulder worked on after the 2015 season, and his left shoulder after this season. This time around the surgery was a little more significant, requiring work on a torn supraspinatus as well as labrum. Last offseason required just repairing a torn supraspinatus.
But Crawford was in good spirits spending Friday working with elementary school students at a ‘Fuel Up and Play 60’ assembly. He still can’t do upper body workouts and is unsure of his status when organized team activities begin in late May, early June, but he’s optimistic.
“With the way my shoulders have been treating me these last couple of years I’m pretty confident I can bounce back,” Crawford said. “Almost the same kind of injury last year and bounced back. Just hoping it goes well and just leaving it in God’s hands.”
Crawford, who signed a five-year, $45 million extension before the 2015 season, finished last season with 4.5 sacks and was credited with 17 quarterback pressures. He spent much of the season at defensive end after rookie Maliek Collins emerged as the team’s best option at the three-technique tackle spot.
But Cowboys defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli likes his linemen to have versatility, and Crawford could be a candidate to move inside more with the departures of nose tackle Terrell McClain and Jack Crawford.
“Man, I have these questions every offseason,” Crawford said, chuckling. “It seems I feel like I know what I’m about to do then it happens to change on me. I’m going to be ready for anything. It is what it is at this point. If I’m a jump around guy, I’m a jump around guy.”
Along with the D-line departures, the defense has also seen its secondary bolt in free agency with safeties Barry Church (Jacksonville) and J.J. Wilcox (Tampa Bay) and cornerbacks Brandon Carr (Baltimore) and Morris Claiborne (NY Jets) finding with new teams.
Crawford acknowledged it’s tough to see his teammates leave.
“Lot of guys that I’ve grown to love, these guys are my brothers,” Crawford said. “It’s tough to see them go, but I’m also happy for them. It’s good for their brand, good for their career and that’s what’s important to me for them to go after what they really want to do and that’s what they really want to do.”
As far as trusting the Cowboys’ front office to rebuild the unit, Crawford said: “Yeah, we have good ownership and good people around the organization who I just trust. We have a plan. With the defense that we run, Marinelli is going to get a guy in there and he’s going to have him doing the right thing anyway. I’m excited for next year. I’m ready for it. I’m not worried about what’s happening this offseason and free agency and stuff. Just excited to get going.”