Cowboys Increase DeMarcus Lawrence Offer

Tethered to a franchise tag he has yet to sign, DeMarcus Lawrence remains in a holding pattern with the Cowboys. The team may be starting to bridge the gap, but a lot of ground still needs to be covered, it appears.

The Cowboys have made a stronger offer to Lawrence, coming up from their initial proposal, Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram notes. Still, the sides are “far apart,” Hill adds.

As of the March deadline to place franchise tags on players, the Cowboys did not view Lawrence as a $20MM-per-year player. With the figure for a second tag spiking north of that number, it would stand to complicate matters. The Cowboys’ initial offers were for less than $20MM AAV. Lawrence stands to make $20.5MM on this second franchise tag. He signed his $17MM-plus tender quickly in 2018 and attended offseason workouts; that is not the plan this year.

The Pro Bowl defensive end has threatened to postpone a shoulder surgery until a long-term deal is finalized. That would stand to affect Lawrence’s availability for training camp, should this impasse drag until the mid-July tag deadline.

Even if Lawrence had undergone the surgery in January, David Moore of the Dallas Morning News notes the plan was for the team to limit his work throughout the offseason and give him days off during camp. This procedure requires a three- to four-month rehab timeline, per Moore. This operation being delayed until the summer would place Lawrence’s status for the early part of the season in question.

Jerry Jones did not sound fazed by Lawrence’s leverage play and noted his availability for the 2019 season would factor into what kind of contract the Cowboys offer.

We’re all aware, as it turns out, this is a contract to play football and the first year is a big one,” Jones said, via Hill. “At the kinds of dollars we’re talking about, it’s just a given that you’d get the full year at top, physical condition, that’s what you’re getting. If you don’t get that it depreciates what you’re doing. It works both ways.”

It likely would have taken more than Trey Flowers‘ five-year, $90MM contract to bring Lawrence to the table to sign before that deal was announced, but with Lawrence’s numbers over the past two seasons bettering the new Lion’s marks, it may increase the 26-year-old Cowboy’s resolve to seek a deal worth considerably more.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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21 comments on “Cowboys Increase DeMarcus Lawrence Offer

  1. axisofhonor25

    Just pay the man Jerry. Stop trying to low ball him, even with his injury he’s one of your best defensive players. Pay the a front loaded contract with options if you have concerns about longevity but don’t go cheap on your defense

    • GeauxRangers

      What if that’s exactly what they offered him and he isn’t taking it? You have no idea what they’re offering him.

  2. JJB0811

    What a brilliant play! Refuse surgery, & stay in pain, just hoping to get more coin. Why take a $17m salary when you can have shoulder pain? I’d love for the ‘Boys to pull the tag right before training camp and he misses out on the year and contract while in pain!

      • JJB0811

        Dallas’ last game was on Jan 12th. This guy has put off surgery for two months knowing he needed a lengthy rehab. So why should Dallas do anything to support a guy who clearly is not taking care of his health? Especially at a price tag of $17m.

        • ziggy13

          My comment was regarding you specifically stated that you wanted him to “miss out and on the year and contract while in pain.” You want this guy to suffer because he’s not being a “team player” and is trying to maximize his paycheck.

          Dude is using what limited negotiating power he has. Dallas tagged him last year and asked him to perform a 2nd year before paying him. He did that. If Dallas didn’t want to risk paying over 20 million a year they should have extended him before the Mack/Donald contracts were given out which everyone knew were coming and were going to reset the market

          • JJB0811

            He is choosing to miss out. I think that’s bad decision. Why should Dallas sign a player that has a known medical problem? The franchise couldn’t make a worse decision than that. We’re almost in April so a 3-4 month recovery pushes him right to training camp.

            As for a long term deal. All the players say that, then 2 years in, want a new contract. Short 2-3 years deals are the best. Especially with the way the cap rises annually.

            As a teacher, Bell passing on $14m last year, and this guy holding off on $17m unfathomable. That is multi-generational money made in 1 year.

          • mazzith

            The guy going to be in pain recovering no matter what, the rehab is 6 months. I say trade him for what ever you can get and move on. I’d also refuse to sign any player with that agent ever again.

    • Can’t Dallas offer Lawrence a non-exclusive tag which is both cheaper and gets Dallas a chance to match it or get two first round picks in compensation?

      The man is not irreplaceable and some draft coin in exchange would be fine. Perhaps no one will offer Lawrence more than Dallas wants to match.

      Or gamble on the transition tag – planning to match any offers.

  3. Jimmy Johnson’s Ghost

    I’m hopeful Dallas can find a trade partner and move Lawrence before the draft. He could bring a 1st and (possibly) a 3rd, Dallas could then draft a young DL, possibly trade for Robert Quinn, and be $ ahead. Lawrence wants Donald/Mack $ and he’s not that level. Giving big contracts to DL doesn’t work in the long run, just this offseason KC cut Justin Houston, NYG just traded Vernon, and Chicago is already restructuring Mack’s deal. Dallas should take note. They need to save $, all they key offensive skill players need to be extended soon.

    • Breezy

      I’m not in favor of this. They need to be willing to spend money on both sides of the ball to build a complete team. Edge rushers take a few years to develope, which is where Lawrence is at now, and still just 26 yo. You’ve got to have some kind of luck to ditch your quality players every 4-5 years, and replace them with someone you draft.

  4. crosseyedlemon

    Refusing to address health concerns is a rather drastic negotiating tactic. Maybe doctors should check to see if Lawrence needs a lobotomy in addition to the shoulder surgery.

  5. fungie22

    You can’t go all on unless you feel he’s a once in a generation talent. They have Dak, Amari and Zelda coming up. They need to think about long term consequences.

  6. Danthemilwfan

    Forget him. Let him walk next year. There are very few players worth 15+ a year. He isn’t Khalil Mack. I hope he stays but when has a defensive player other then Mack been worth that money

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