The Toronto Argonauts have added former Dallas Cowboys Canadian defensive lineman Tyrone Crawford to their exclusive negotiation list, per sources.
The move was made by the Argos on Thursday, March 25 — five days prior to the 31-year-old announcing his retirement from the NFL. He played all nine of his seasons for America’s Team. The Cowboys selected Crawford in the third round, 81st overall during the 2012 NFL draft.
The six-foot-four, 290-pound interior presence started 79 of his 117 total regular season games played. The Windsor, Ontario native notched 194 tackles, 65 quarterbacks hits, 33 tackles for loss, 25 sacks, six knock downs, three forced fumbles and recovered three fumbles. Through his time with Dallas, Crawford played five playoff games, starting four, recording nine tackles, while knocking down one pass.
The Catholic Central High School product went from Canada to Bakersfield College. After garnering first-team All-America status in junior college, Crawford earned a scholarship to Boise State University. During two seasons with the Broncos, Crawford produced 76 tackles, 27 tackles for loss, 13.5 sacks, four forced fumbles, recovered one fumble, knocked down one pass, and scored one defensive touchdown in 25 games.
Coming out of the NCAA, pure athleticism led to the Cowboys choosing Crawford to lineup as a defensive end in a 3-4 alignment. When Dallas shifted to a 4-3 scheme on defence, he kicked inside and proved his ability to be versatile. That helped him earn over $47.5 million during his NFL career.
Big name NFL signings have shown if the Argos decide to add a player to the neg list, there is a chance the double blue can actually sign them to a contract. The new regime in Toronto, led by Michael “Pinball” Clemons, doesn’t put recognizable names on the 45-man document to waste spots. The Argos mean business and Martavis Bryant, Kendall Wright, Shawn Oakman, Shane Ray, and Eli Harold serve as proof.
It seems impossible for Crawford to potentially sign with the Argos, considering he once cashed a signing bonus check for $10,000,000 — more than Toronto’s salary cap in 2021 and 2022 combined. However, the recent Argos track record proves it’s plausible. Crawford would be a ratio-breaker on an already stacked defensive front.