The Cowboys are betting big on the come for defensive tackle Tyrone Crawford, signing him to a five-year, $45 million contract on Saturday.
Per a source, the deal includes roughly $25.7 million in guaranteed money for the 2012 third-round pick, who was set to make $675,000 in the final year of his rookie deal.
Crawford broke his own news in a series of tweets Saturday. The first included a picture of him signing the contract: “Hard #WorkK pays off! Blessed to be part of the @DallasCowboys for the next 5 years!”
The second tweet on @TCrawford98 read: “Can’t thank my family, friends, agents & the @dallascowboys organization enough for this! Now back to #WorkK! Got a W to get on @SNFonNBC!”
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The Cowboys open the season Sunday night against the New York Giants.
Crawford has just three career sacks but the Cowboys believe former Boise State star is on the brink of a breakout season and already consider him a cornerstone player for the future.
“He represents everything we want to wear the star,” vice-president Stephen Jones said on Friday. 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.”
Crawford, who missed all of the 2013 season a torn Achilles, is only his second full season at defensive tackle after moving over from defensive end at the start of last season.
Despite recording just three sacks, Crawford showed that he was a budding force at the position. He was second on the team in quarterback hurries with 29.
“We have seen a lot of out of him,” Jones said. “He had a heck of the year last year. He gets surrounded by other good players I think the productivity and the stats will go up. I don’t think we are betting up side. 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.”