-- FRISCO, Texas -- Faced with shipping a king-size mattress home from Oxnard, California, Dallas Cowboys defensive end Tyrone Crawford came up with a better idea: donate it to a needy family from the area.
Using Instagram and Twitter to reach out to fans in need, Crawford gifted his barely used Lull Bed mattress that was sent to him at the start of training camp to Norma Ramirez, a single mother of three boys who lives in Santa Barbara.
When defensive tackle Maliek Collins got word of what Crawford was doing, he donated his mattress to Ramirez as well.
"We put out an Instagram post asking if anybody felt like they deserved a good night's rest, and we thought it was better to stay with someone locally than have to ship it somewhere," Crawford's marketing agent, Alex Guerrero of Elite Sports Society, said.
"We received, conservatively, 40 emails or so. The couple we first chose, they were in Dallas, so we're going to send them one as well. This was something Tyrone thought would be a good way of giving back."
Ramirez's sister, Gaby Hidalgo, actually nominated her sister for the mattresses. Crawford was raised by a single mother in Canada, and his foundation helps single-parent homes, so he was touched by their story.
"I told them I think my sister would be a great candidate because she's a single mom to three boys, one who has autism," Hidalgo said. "She works very hard to make ends meet every month. The mattress would be perfect for us because at the end of the day she's tired, and she takes care of her boys.
"We weren't really disappointed [when she wasn't initially picked] because it was meant for someone who needed it more. Then we got called, and we're just blessed for him to do this."
Hidalgo and Ramirez showed up at the Cowboys' River Ridge Residence Inn complex in Oxnard on Friday morning before the team returned to Dallas, met Crawford and Collins, and took some photos before strapping the mattresses into the back of their truck.
Hidalgo went to two practices and is a Cowboys fan. Her sister likes football but wasn't much of a Cowboys fan before the gift.
"He's such a nice guy," Hidalgo said. "It meant a lot. He's a known person, and for him to take time to do something like that is very special. Just makes me wanting to keep supporting the team and watch every game and hopefully get to see them in the future."