The Cowboys have until mid-July to hammer out a long-term extension with DeMarcus Lawrence. If not, he’ll play out the year on the one-year, $17.143MM franchise tag. Other players might worry about that lack of security, but that’s fine with the defensive end.
“It really doesn’t matter,” Lawrence said this week (via Jon Machota of the Dallas News). “If I do my thing, I put up my stats and I help my team win, they ain’t got no choice but to sign me. That’s how I feel.”
Lawrence, who turned 26 this spring, had 14.5 sacks in 2017. That total was the most by a Cowboys player since another DeMarcus – DeMarcus Ware – had 19 in 2011. The Cowboys also notched 38 sacks as a team, giving them their highest total overall since ’11.
Lawrence was a big reason for the Cowboys’ success against opposing quarterbacks and they ideally would like to keep him in the long term. However, agent David Canter is believed to be seeking a deal that will at least match that of fellow client Olivier Vernon. In 2016, Vernon signed the largest deal in NFL history for a defensive end when he inked a five-year, $85MM deal with the Giants.
As shown on Roster Resource, the Cowboys project to start Lawrence and Tyrone Crawford at defensive end with Brian Price and Maliek Collins in the middle. Defensive ends David Irving, 2017 first-round pick Taco Charlton, and free agent addition Kony Ealy are also ticketed for significant playing time at DE and that group could be strengthened even further if Randy Gregory is cleared to play in 2018.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.