Defensive end Tyrone Crawford impressed the Cowboys with his pass rush in Sunday’s Blue-White scrimmage.
The rookie third-round draft pick from Boise State showed power in a straight ahead rush, consistently beating left guard Ronald Leary. It was a sign of the effort the Cowboys like that they see from the 6-foot-4, 285-pound end.
“Thought it was really great. Thought it was really great,” Garrett said of the rookie’s pass rush. “It’s still early on with Tyrone. He hasn’t practiced a whole lot in the spring, and what are we, six practices in right now? But everything he does, he does it with kind of a relentless feel. And that’s what we saw on tape, and that’s what we’re seeing from him in practice.”
Garrett said Crawford has “some technical things” to work on, but that he is making progress with defensive line coaches Brian Baker and Leon Lett.
“He’s a pretty big kid, maybe bigger than you think. Maybe more athletic than you think,” Garrett said. “When you have that relentless nature up front –you just keep coming – you’re going to have some success.”
Courtesy: Carlos Mendez
OXNARD, Calif. — To the casual observer, Dallas Cowboys running back DeMarco Murray may seem like a cool cat, a guy who keeps his emotions in check.
His teammates know better.
“He gets more angry than you think,” linebacker Sean Lee said. “He has a temper. He might seem like he’s cool, but he’s definitely got a mean streak. You can see it in the way he runs.”
On a recent sun-splashed afternoon, cornerback Teddy Williams found out just how mean Murray can be.
After snagging a swing pass from Tony Romo, Murray delivered a punishing blow that left the former UTSA sprinter with a concussion.
“You could see (Murray) dropped his shoulder a little bit,” Lee understated.
“Just playing football,” Murray said with a laugh.
As a third-round rookie in 2011, Murray battered plenty of defenders en route to leading the Cowboys in rushing yards (897), carries (164) and average yards per attempt (5.5). It was a surprising accomplishment, considering he missed most of training camp and the preseason with a hamstring injury, then had his season ended prematurely by a fractured right ankle Dec. 11 that required surgery the next day.
But he’s healthy again and determined to post even better numbers in 2012.
“The sky’s the limit,” said Murray, 24.
The Oklahoma alum drew comparisons to the Cowboys’ two Hall of Fame runners — Emmitt Smith and Tony Dorsett — with a brilliant stretch of games kicked off by a franchise-record 253-yard rushing effort against a hapless St. Louis Rams team.
But even though that outing put him in some elite company, Murray is quick to dismiss any talk that he’s on par with Smith and Dorsett.
“Those are two legends, two Hall of Famers,” Murray said. “That has never crossed my mind, to be compared with them or to have anything to do with them.”
Still, Murray is similar to Smith and Dorsett in that he’s driven to succeed.
“You can describe it any way you want to describe it — mean streak, competitive spirit — DeMarco’s got it,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. “He’s had it his whole life. He had it as a high school player. He had it at Oklahoma. It’s the reason he’s been so productive. He’s a very mature player, and part of that maturity is the emotional maturity and understanding the nature you need to play with, the demeanor you need to play with.
“… It’s a little bit of a mean streak. It’s a little bit of a competitive spirit. You see it in all aspects of his game.”
Murray declined to disclose his goals for the season, but he suggested they’re lofty.
“No one sets the bar higher than me,” he said.
One item that has to be on the list is to score more touchdowns. He had only two last season. As a team, Dallas had just five rushing.
“Definitely unacceptable,” Murray said. “Five rushing touchdowns in one season: For me, it’s terrible. We had a couple of injuries and had some guys nicked up, but there’s no excuse for that.”
Like Lee, Murray is viewed by his teammates and coaches as a player mature beyond his years. So when they hear him say five rushing TDs is unacceptable, they’re confident he’s going to do something about it.
“DeMarco is going to have a great year,” tight end Jason Witten said. “He doesn’t carry himself like a second-year player. He works hard, he’s fast, athletic, tough, smart, got some strength to him. He’s going to be a workhorse, really handle the load.”
And, no doubt, inflict pain on a few defenders in the process just as he has in practice.
“I’m just trying to set the tempo right now,” Murray said. “I’m not trying to juke and shake. I’m trying to set the tone on the edge and let the (defensive backs) know there are some running backs out here that can run hard a little bit.”
Courtesy: Tom Orsborn | San Antonio Express-News
OXNARD, Calif. — The Dallas Cowboys are planning on keeping wide receiver Miles Austin out of practice for at least a week, which would put his availability for the Aug. 13 preseason opener at Oakland in jeopardy.
Austin was kept out of the second half of Saturday’s practice with a strained hamstring. The team does not believe it is as serious as the different pulls to both hamstrings that kept him out of six games in 2011, but Dallas will be cautious.
"I’m not necessarily concerned about his situation and why I’m not is we are being very conservative here," owner and general manager Jerry Jones said. "These get a little tightness or a little twinge. Everybody is on the same page here. Let them have a couple of days. We are a month away from lining up. No need to push these guys around and get something that could take weeks. The only thing the I can remember is how last year it took weeks for him to get back a couple of times and what you are seeing is preventative so it won’t take weeks."
Austin has had a number of hamstring issues through his career, which coach Jason Garrett said could be a result of how hard he works in practice.
"We just have to learn from that experience (from last season), and he has to learn from that experience," Garrett said. "Making sure he’s getting all the hydration he needs, getting all the treatment. He’s been doing all that stuff, but we have to make sure we’re somewhat cautious with him in making sure we’re not getting him back too soon and then when we get him back making sure we continue to monitor that … Sometimes when you’re an undrafted guy from Monmouth University and a Jersey tough-type guy you don’t want to tell the coach anything like that. You say, ‘Coach, I’m fine,’ and that’s one of Miles’ greatest strengths. Sometimes it can creep up in a negative way as well."
Kevin Ogletree worked with the No. 1 offense in Sunday’s walk-through, but Garrett said second-year receivers Dwayne Harris and Andre Holmes also will get looks in Austin’s absence.
"We’re going to create a competitive situation," Garrett said. "Kevin’s going to get the first ones when Miles is out, but Dwayne Harris is right there, Andre Holmes is right there and some of the other guys who’ve been here. We want to give them a chance to play early on in training camp and early in the preseason games to see how they can handle it."