Dallas Cowboys defensive tackles coach Leon Lett has been singing the praises of British defensive lineman Jack Crawford ahead of the NFC East team’s training camp which is due to open in Oxnard, California, later this month.
In an exclusive interview in London with BritViewNFL.com, the three-time Super Bowl-winning defensive lineman and two-time Pro Bowler said:
“Jack is progressing very well. I think he had one of the best OTA’s that I’ve seen in a while. He was just working in shorts and without the pads on, but he really did a great job.
“I think Jack will be a big contributor. He can play defensive end and defensive tackle – we even put Jack in at nose tackle last year against the Giants and he held his own. The sky’s the limit for Jack because he’s a tough guy who works hard.”
Crawford, who grew up in London before heading to America to chase his NFL dream via Penn State, entered the league as a fifth round draft choice of the Oakland Raiders in 2012. He was released by the Silver and Black in 2014 and quickly hooked up with the Cowboys, where he recorded two sacks, including one in front of his home crowd at London’s Wembley Stadium against Jacksonville last November.
As Lett stressed, the 6-foot-5, 288-pound Crawford can play multiple positions along the defensive line and the Cowboys expect big things of him in his fourth season in the league.
Lett was keen to work with Crawford, as he explained:
“My first meeting with Jack was last year right after the preseason and I was just impressed with his knowledge of the game. I looked at him in college coming out of Penn State and Jack just jumped off the screen at me. I went down and watched him at the Senior Bowl and said, ‘Man, I want that guy.’
“I was already a fan of Jack Crawford before I had a chance to work with him. And now I’ve had the chance to work with him, I know that my initial feelings about him are still there. He is a hard worker and you’re not going to out-work him. He has a great body. He’s big and has a good-looking NFL body. He can play multiple positions. He can play interior lineman and he can play defensive end so the position flex is there. He is a hard worker and he gets it.”