Tony Gutierrez/Associated Press
As of right now, the Cowboys like defensive tackle/defensive end as a 3-technique behind Henry Melton, according to Star Telegram. Said defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli:
I just want to get him in a position where he can really showcase what he can do. At that [three-technique] position, either you showcase or you don’t. If he can’t do that, then yeah, he’s a good left end, too. He’s solid, really good at left end. But you always have to have at least two of those guys [at the three-technique]. You have to. It’s a hard position to play. If you’ve got a guy who can come in and rotate with a guy in there, boy, it’s tough, and in third downs, if you find a nickel inside rusher, I think he’s got a lot of that. I’m going to really challenge him, and we’ll see how it goes.
I think the Cowboys are right to use Crawford as a defensive tackle, but not to keep him as a backup. You can call him whatever you want—3-technique, 1-technique, whatever—but just get the best guys on the field. Why not play Crawford right alongside Melton and dare teams to run?
My guess is that, if Crawford blows up in camp like a lot of people expect, he’s going to force Marinelli’s hand to get him on the field. At the very least, he should be in there next to Melton as a nickel rusher in passing situations.