Canadian Cowboys: Tyrone Crawford, Neville Gallimore bring strength from the north

Tyrone Crawford and Neville Gallimore bring nearly 600 pounds of Canadian bacon to the Dallas Cowboys’ defensive front.

Crawford has been cooking in Big D for eight years when he was made the 81st pick in the 2012 NFL draft. The 30-year-old has been looking out for Gallimore — the 82nd pick in this year’s draft — with the Canadian connection bringing them immediately together.

“That was off the rip. Shoutout to him treating me like a little brother. Reminding me and helping me put things into perspective. He’s been a really good dude and definitely the fact we both come from Canada has been mad love,” Gallimore said.

“It’s always good when you have especially an older guy that’s coming from when you’re coming from. He understands the grind to get from where we’re coming from to this point. It’s been love so far.”

The Oklahoma product was inspired by Crawford’s rise to the NFL while playing high school football in Ottawa.

“He’s from Canada. He’s coming from a place from where I’m from. If he can do it, there is an opportunity. I feel like him, followed by a lot of other Canadian players in the NFL, really helped pave the way for guys like myself who believed in the dream and are getting that opportunity to play.”

Gallimore became a full-time starter with the Sooners in his junior season and produced 79 tackles, seven sacks and forced five fumbles over the 2018 and 2019 seasons. He produced elite numbers at the NFL combine, posting 23 reps of 225 pounds on the bench press and completing the 40-yard dash in 4.79 seconds.

It didn’t take long for Crawford to recognize Gallimore’s potential as an interior defender. The Windsor, Ont. native appreciates having a fellow Canadian in the trenches, something he enjoyed last year playing alongside Vancouver’s Christian Covington.

“For his on-the-field stuff, I pay attention a lot because I want to see him succeed,” said Crawford. “I want to see that guy do some big things in this league and with this team. He will. He’s going to be a powerful, powerful piece for this team.”

“With him we’re both reminders of home, which is good for us. We remind ourselves of where we come from a lot daily, just in how we talk and how we connect with each other. I try and help him grow, learn different ways to take advantage of his craft.”

Crawford has played all eight of his NFL seasons for America’s Team and can show Gallimore the way to success in Dallas. With the CFL on hold for 2020, Canadian football fans can watch a pair of homegrown products man the trenches with the Cowboys.

Justin Dunk is a football insider, sports reporter and anchor.