The Cowboys don’t want to make DeMarcus Lawrence the highest-paid pass rusher in the league, Calvin Watkins of The Athletic writes. However, with another strong year, Watkins believes that the Cowboys would be willing to place him somewhere in the top three.
This year, Lawrence is set to play out the 2017 season on his one-year, $17.1MM franchise tag. Technically, the Cowboys can tag him again next year, but the $20.5MM cost is probably too high for the Cowboys to consider. Instead, the two sides could use that price as a reference point to hammer out the five-year deal that Lawrence is reportedly seeking.
After the Cowboys locked up Zack Martin to the highest contract for a guard in league history, Watkins doubts that the Cowboys will allow Lawrence to get away in 2019. They shelled out big bucks to give Martin a six-year, $84MM deal with $40MM in guarantees and structured the deal in a way that his cap number won’t be cumbersome until 2021, when it rises to $15MM. The Cowboys are skittish about overpaying Lawrence, but they don’t want to let their best pass rusher walk away and there’s likely a way to make the numbers work.
Here’s more from the NFC East:
- Do the Eagles have a better roster than last year entering training camp? Zach Berman of the Philadelphia Inquirer thinks so, arguing that the defending champs have taken a step forward on paper. The offense had to replace tight end Trey Burton with rookie Dallas Goedert, but Mike Wallace might be an upgrade over Torrey Smith and they should see improvement from Nelson Agholor and Mack Hollins. Meanwhile, there are questions on the other side of the ball, but the Eagles’ secondary should be better with a healthy Sidney Jones and Ronald Darby working off of a full offseason.
- The Redskins invested a lot in their D-Line after drafting Da’Ron Payne in the first round, and JP Finlay of NBC Sports Washington expects big improvement across the board. Their biggest upgrade may come from within, however, now that 2017 first-rounder Jonathan Allen is expected to be completely healthy this fall.
- Former Giants running back Shane Vereen signed with the Saints on Wednesday.