No surprise here, but the Cowboys and DeMarcus Lawrence will not reach agreement on an extension before Monday’s 4pm ET/3pm CT deadline, Todd Archer of ESPN.com hears (on Twitter). Instead, Lawrence will play out the 2018 season on his $17.143MM franchise tag.
Lawrence, 26, had 14.5 sacks in 2017. That total was the most by a Cowboys player since DeMarcus Ware had 19 in 2011. The Cowboys also notched 38 sacks as a team, giving them their highest total overall since ’11. Despite some bumps early on in his career, including back issues, Lawrence underscored his importance to the club with a big campaign last year. He also did not miss any games in ’17.
It is believed that Lawrence is gunning to top Olivier Vernon‘s five-year, $85MM deal with the Giants and his agent – the same one that represents Vernon – wants at least $17MM/year. For what it’s worth, Lawrence’s ’17 sack total nearly doubled Vernon’s total from his contract year. He also graded out as Pro Football Focus’ No. 3 ranked DE, putting him behind only Cameron Jordan and Von Miller amongst edge rushers.
Apparently, that’s a bit too rich for the Cowboys’ blood at this time. As a result, the Cowboys will not be able to reopen negotiations with Lawrence until January 2019.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.