Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Seeing Rival Eagles in Super Bowl Bitter Pill for Cowboys Defensive End Crawford

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Seeing Rival Eagles in Super Bowl Bitter Pill for Cowboys Defensive End Crawford

Article excerpt

Seeing Eagles in Super Bowl tough on Crawford

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TORONTO - He's a perennial Super Bowl champion and regarded by many as the greatest quarterback in NFL history. But those are also some of the reasons why defensive linemen like Canadian Tyrone Crawford look forward to facing Tom Brady.

Brady, 40, leads the New England Patriots into the Super Bowl on Sunday versus the Philadelphia Eagles. Brady and Co. will chase a second straight NFL title and record-tying sixth overall.

"In the game I'm more licking my lips and thinking, 'Come on man, I've got to get to him,'" Crawford said in an interview Friday. "When you go up against quarterbacks like him, (Aaron) Rodgers, Russell Wilson and guys who've made a name for themselves in the NFL, you want to hit them hard.

"You want to let them know, 'Here I am. This is the Dallas Cowboys defensive line and boom, boom. We're hitting you at all different angles.' "

But that doesn't diminish the respect Crawford, 28, of Windsor, Ont., has for Brady.

"Those are the type of guys I love seeing," Crawford said. "I love knowing the story behind them and the type of athlete and competitor he is, it's amazing to me.

"We all aspire to have that type of mindset and ambition and he's got it, man. There's no taking that guy down."

Well, there is, actually, as one of Crawford's 16.5 career NFL sacks was of Brady in a 30-6 Patriots win over Dallas in 2015.

The 2017 season was a disappointing one for Dallas. After winning the NFC East in 2016 with a 13-3 record, Dallas (9-7) finished behind Philadelphia (13-3) and missed the playoffs.

To many, the drama surrounding running back Ezekiel Elliott's six-game suspension -- Dallas went 3-3 without him -- was a factor in the downfall. Others felt quarterback Dak Prescott wasn't as dominant as he was as a rookie in 2016.

But the six-foot-four, 290-pound Crawford, entering his seventh season with Dallas, felt the defence simply didn't play well enough when it had to.

"It (Elliott suspension) was not a distraction," he said. "A couple of games we couldn't let slip away, we let them slip and I feel like in those games our defence didn't play like we should. …

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