The Cowboys don’t know anything for certain on Tyrone Crawford, but they left the practice field hoping for the best — an right ankle sprain — and preparing for the worst for the defensive lineman.
Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones acknowledged the injury was a “scary one” but added that the team has “no idea yet.”
The Cowboys, who had 36 sacks last season, already have three defensive linemen suspended for the start of the season. Now, they could be without Crawford, too.
“The good news is we’ve got some good depth,” Jones said, via Drew Davison of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “Obviously we drafted that position. The one thing about Ty is he was very versatile. He could go in and play the under, play either end, so he’s a big part of what we’re about. Certainly a key part of this football team.”
Crawford was injured when he lowered his left shoulder, trying to stop Ezekiel Elliott. He hit Elliott’s right shoulder, knocking Elliott to the ground and rolling his ankle at a 90-degree angle.
“Hopefully it’s not that bad,” said defensive end Taco Charlton, the team’s first-round pick. “I would hate to lose our leader on our defensive line, but at the end of the day, the next man has to step up and do their job.”
Crawford tore his left Achilles during training camp in 2013 and missed the entire season. He had surgery in the 2016 offseason to repair a torn rotator cuff and underwent left shoulder surgery in January. He also had back and hamstring injuries that kept him out of two games last season.
The Cowboys signed Crawford to a five-year, $45 million contract extension two years ago, and he has bounced between tackle and end since. He played mostly at left end last season and made 28 tackles and 4.5 sacks.