Crawford was bothered by bursitis in his hips late last season and missed the entire offseason program and training camp this summer for rehab, but the condition improved only slightly.
He played in the first two games, recording a sack in the season opener, and had three tackles, two tackles for loss and a quarterback hurry in the four games he played. He was inactive for two games and had been limited in practice in hopes of keeping him ready for games, but the decision was made to have surgery.
The Cowboys will look to add a defensive lineman to replace Crawford on the 53-man roster. They have Daniel Wise on the practice squad, but they could look elsewhere for help.
Crawford, 29, is signed through 2020 and is set to make $8 million. A third-round pick in 2012, Crawford recorded 23 sacks in 96 games and has been one of the defensive leaders the past few years. After missing the 2013 season because of a torn Achilles, Crawford missed just four games from 2014-18 because of injury.