DeMarcus Lawrence has been known to throw his emotions into his posts on social media, but there’s one time where his words are especially poignant. Last year, Lawrence revealed that his younger brother, Tyrone Crawford, was arrested at the age of 22 and feared for his safety. Now, Lawrence has shared a moving tribute to his brother through an Instagram post, revealing that Crawford was the reason why he was able to succeed in the NFL.

On Wednesday night the Dallas Cowboys lost one of their best defensive players: starting defensive end Tyrone Crawford. The team later announced he had suffered a torn left bicep tendon. While the injury has shocked the Cowboys, it isn’t entirely surprising considering the severity of the damage caused by Crawford’s trainer, Minka Van Der Werff, who was charged with assaulting Crawford and his family. This is a tragedy, and DeMarcus Lawrence is doing his best to make sure that it doesn’t reflect on the player who is a true leader on the team.

Tyrone Crawford is the third-year defensive end for the Los Angeles Chargers. Crawford has played his entire career with the Chargers, and, last year, became the first Charger in franchise history to record a sack in every game of an NFL season. The following year, he became the first Charger to record a sack in every game of two consecutive NFL seasons. At the time of this writing, Crawford is expected to be suspended for at least six games after testing positive for a banned substance.

Tyrone Crawford spent almost a decade on the Dallas Cowboys’ defense. The recently retired defensive end may not have been a member of a squad deserving of the coveted title of “America’s Team,” but that doesn’t mean he didn’t give it his all. Crawford was one of the team’s defensive leaders and a locker room presence who had an influence off the field from 2012 to 20. As a result, DeMarcus Lawrence, a former teammate, sent a touching letter to the newly minted retiree. 

DeMarcus Lawrence and Tyrone Crawford’s Cowboys careers v=nIWfCbY62rU

Crawford was drafted in the third round of the 2012 NFL Draft by Jerry Jones’ club, according to Pro-Football-Reference. Crawford wanted to improve the defense towards the conclusion of the Tony Romo era so that their star quarterback could lead the club to another run of success. Crawford was unable to do so because to injuries and roster concerns, but the problems are not his fault. 

Crawford’s first season was spent on the bench. However, after 20 combined tackles, he was elevated to the starting lineup, where he remained throughout 2018. Crawford’s influence dwindled in the past two years as injuries and age caught up with him. Regardless, his leadership will carry on via his colleagues, such as Lawrence. 

Lawrence entered the NFL two years after Crawford, according to Pro-Football-Reference. Lawrence spent the most of his rookie season on the bench, and he plans to do it again in 2016. He remained on the starting line with Lawrence until the latter was demoted to the bench. Crawford, on the other hand, contributed to the duo’s reputation as one of the most dangerous in the NFL. 

Crawford has 300 career tackles and has been a two-time Pro Bowler. Despite the fact that his teammate lacked these statistics or honors, he welcomed Lawrence into the NFL with compassion and leadership that is still felt today. 

Stage left, exit

Mike McCarthy verified suspicions circulating around NFL circles not long after the Cowboys’ season ended. Lawrence approached the first-year coach with a message, according to him. McCarthy stated, “Tyrone came to me straight away in the exit interview process… he is going to retire.”

The Cowboys have been known to lose experienced players in the past. The team’s senior leaders have departed in droves, from L.P. Ladouceur to Chris Jones. Few, though, possessed Crawford’s level of rapport. He wasn’t simply a defender, a leader, or a key component of the team’s recent success. For almost a decade, he was the heart and soul of a group that looked up to him.

Lawrence wants to make sure this goes undetected. He just sent a thank you letter to a guy that assisted him in reaching his current level of success. 

DeMarcus Lawrence offers his respects.

Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Tyrone Crawford and defensive end Demarcus Lawrence during watch the action training camp

Dallas Cowboys defensive tackle Tyrone Crawford and defensive end Demarcus Lawrence during watch the action training camp Tyrone Crawford (left) and Demarcus Lawrence (right) of the Dallas Cowboys | Max Faulkner/Fort Worth Star-Telegram/TNS

Lawrence went to The Players’ Tribune to express his gratitude to Crawford and to remember the effect he had on not just the rest of the defense, but also the offense and the people in charge. He remembered one of their first conversations, recalling Crawford’s humility for a young rookie like him. 

“You took the time to speak with me and get to know me a little better. You were sincere and generous. You’d only just met me, yet you were already invested in my well-being. You thought highly of me as a person. You even went so far as to ask me for some advice, to pick my brain about getting to the quarterback,” the two-time Pro Bowler wrote.

Lawrence praises Crawford with pulling him out of his depression early in his NFL career, when he wasn’t convinced he was ready for the big leagues. It wasn’t only his leadership and guidance that made a difference; it was the way he lived what he preached, whether healthy or injured, benched or starting. 

“I’ve never told you this before, but due to your counsel and direction, Tyrone, you helped me from jumping over the metaphorical bridge that most NFL players go off when they don’t take their job seriously. You came to my rescue. You helped me get back on track with your continuous encouragement and support,” he stated.

Lawrence, now a seasoned leader, has the opportunity to emulate Crawford. The Cowboys’ favorite demonstrated a compassionate leader, a willing teammate, and most importantly, a relationship that helped anchor in the youthful core that so many still trust in despite the team’s most recent losses. Crawford will be difficult to replace in the end, but if Lawrence can demonstrate even a quarter of Crawford’s leadership, the squad will be in excellent hands. 

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This article broadly covered the following related topics:

  • demarcus lawrence letter to tyrone crawford
  • demarcus lawrence
  • jay demarcus’ house
  • jay demarcus’ wife
  • demarcus ‘d.j.’ bryant
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