Defensive tackle Tyrone Crawford acknowledged that he and his agents are getting closer to a long-term agreement with the Dallas Cowboys.
"I think everybody knows how much I love Dallas, love this team, love this organization, love the ownership, my teammates," Crawford said. "My agents are working on it right now and I’m just letting them do their job."
The 25-year-old Crawford had been pegged as the next most likely player to receive an extension throughout the offseason, as he is set to become a free agent after this season.
The 2012 third-round draft pick is coming off his best season to date, and is expected to take another step this season as he has settled into the three-technique tackle spot in Rod Marinelli’s Tampa 2 scheme.
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“We have been talking for a while. We would like to get the business done before the season starts. We will see,” Cowboys vice-president Stephen Jones said. Friday. He represents everything we want to wear the star. He is a really solid player on the field. He plays the way we want to play the game. He is an even better guy off the field. We are working to insure that he will be here.”
With a potential breakout season on the horizon, Crawford could be leaving money on the table by not hitting the free agent market.
“It’d be tough for anybody,” Crawford said. “It’s always in your head. But, like I said, if it fits, it fits. And that’s just how it’s going to go.”
Jones sounds confident in finding a financial figure for Crawford.
“We have seen a lot of out of him. He had a heck of the year last year. He gets surrounded by other good players and I think the productivity and the stats will go up,” Jones said. “I don’t think we are betting on upside. We want him to keep playing the way he plays. He has shown us everything we need to see that he can be one of the elite under tackles in this league.”
Crawford, who missed the 2013 season with a ruptured Achilles, said the contract negotiations haven’t become a distraction for him in getting ready for the season. He said he spoke with his agents at length before training camp, so they have a good feel for what he wants.
"I just do what I have to do every day. I’m not worried about anything else," Crawford said. "I’m playing for something way bigger than just money or man. I’m playing for myself, my family, God, and definitely keep that in mind first.
"I have goals I want to accomplish. Being Canadian, there’s a lot more goals I can accomplish being in the NFL as far as making certain things – Pro Bowl and All Pro. So focused on that stuff. As long as I keep focusing on that, I think everything will work out for me."
Crawford had 37 tackles with three sacks and 29 quarterback pressures last season.