Eagles & Cowboys Potential Fit for Swapping CB for Edge Rusher

Tyrone Crawford

Getty Tyrone Crawford

The golden rule in the NFL is to never complete a trade with a divisional rival. Especially not the Dallas Cowboys.

Yet the Eagles have done it eight times in franchise history, most notably two months ago when the two teams swapped a late fourth-round pick and a pair of fifth-rounders. Philadelphia missed out on Wisconsin center Tyler Biadasz but parlayed it into additional picks later in the draft. It was a tough decision for GM Howie Roseman. It always is.

“When the Cowboys call and they offer a trade, I’m going to be honest, that’s hard for me. That’s hard for me in the NFC East to make a trade with our competitors,” Roseman told reporters at the draft. “So it had to be something that we felt was really good for our football team. The reality of it is that who we would’ve picked at that pick — I think it was 146 maybe — was the same guy that we were looking at when we were picking in the fifth round, so we picked up an additional pick and we kept moving.”

While it was hard for Roseman to do it, he did cock back and pull the trigger. Would he do it again if it meant acquiring a versatile 30-year-old pass-rusher? Maybe. It’s at least worth taking a look at.

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Getting to Know Tyrone Crawford, Cowboys Enigmatic DE

Dallas is looking to reinforce their defensive line after losing Robert Quinn and Maliek Collins in free agency. The Cowboys did add Gerald McCoy and Dontari Poe, plus they drafted Utah standout Bradlee Anae in the fifth round. They seem to be all set. But there is some uncertainty around one projected starting defensive end: Tyrone Crawford.

Crawford, a former third-round pick out of Boise State, has largely unimpressed in his seven NFL seasons. He has 23 total sacks and 61 quarterback hits, but that production hasn’t lived up to the hype of the $45 million contract he inked in 2015. Crawford is set to become an unrestricted free agent in 2021 and many believe the writing is on the wall.

The Cowboys are counting on a pair of reinstated players (Aldon Smith, Randy Gregory) to boost their pass rush in 2020. They have a combined 54.5 sacks, although Smith hasn’t played since 2015 and Gregory since 2018. Meanwhile, Crawford has been dealing with chronic hip problems and underwent surgery in 2019. The 6-foot-4, 290-pounder is penciled in as the starter at right defensive end on the team’s preliminary depth chart.

“Obviously, double hip surgery is nothing to play around with. But I’m feeling awesome, ready to go,” Crawford told the Cowboys’ official website.

The Eagles could use another pass-rushing threat on the outside, someone to pair with Brandon Graham and Derek Barnett. Josh Sweat is looking to build off a promising 2019 campaign and the team remains high on former Brown Genard Avery. Still, Crawford could provide depth as a hybrid defensive tackle and edge rusher. He can play multiple positions on the line.

The Proposal: Rasul Douglas for Crawford

Would Dallas bite on a possible swap of Rasul Douglas for Crawford? Douglas appears to be the odd man out in the Eagles’ secondary. He failed to earn the starting cornerback job in 2019 and now it’s a two-man race between Sidney Jones and Avonte Maddox to grab the spot opposite Darius Slay. The Cowboys lost Byron Jones in free agency and will trot out a cornerback duo of Chidobe Awuzie and Anthony Brown, with second-rounder Trevon Diggs and veteran Jourdan Lewis challenging them.

But Douglas could be an attractive option at the nickel corner spot for Dallas. He doesn’t seem to factor into Philly’s long-term plans and Crawford’s contract might be an albatross as the Cowboys look to throw a money pit at Dak Prescott. They are going to need to free up major cap space. By getting rid of Crawford, the Cowboys would save $8 million in base salary. His cap hit figures around $9.1 million, per Spotrac. He’s a guy they might want to move ahead of free agency in 2021. And the Eagles just might turn out to be the best marriage partner.

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