Demarcus Lawrence

Cowboys Activate DE DeMarcus Lawrence

The reinforcements keep coming for the Cowboys. They will have their Pro Bowl defensive end back Thursday night. DeMarcus Lawrence is now on Dallas’ active roster, Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News tweets.

Lawrence has not played since Week 1. Although Randy Gregory remains on IR, Lawrence will team with Defensive Rookie of the Year favorite Micah Parsons for the NFC East-leading squad. Lawrence’s activation comes a day after the Cowboys moved Amari Cooper off their reserve/COVID-19 list and back onto the active roster.

Lawrence suffered a broken foot in practice after the club’s Week 1 loss to the Buccaneers. He will aim to make a difference down the stretch. The eighth-year pass rusher has not topped 6.5 sacks since signing his big-ticket extension in 2019, but his presence will be a welcome one for a Cowboys squad that has kept moving Parsons around the formation due to D-end unavailability.

The two-time Pro Bowler didn’t miss a game for the Cowboys between the 2017 and 2020 seasons, averaging more than nine sacks per season. He started Dallas’s first game of the 2021 campaign, collecting five tackles while appearing in 66 percent of his team’s defensive snaps.

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Cowboys Designate DeMarcus Lawrence For Return

The Cowboys have designated defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence for return, as Doug Kyed of The Athletic tweets. The two-time Pro Bowler is back on the practice field today, and his 21-day activation window is officially open.

Per ESPN’s Ed Werder, Dallas is targeting next Thursday’s matchup with the Saints for Lawrence’s return to game action (Twitter link). Lawrence suffered a broken foot in practice after the club’s Week 1 loss to the Bucs, and he has been on injured reserve ever since.

Lawrence, 29, has yet to replicate the double-digit sack totals that he posted across the 2017-18 seasons, but he remains a key component of Dallas’ defensive front. He is a highly-effective run-stopper, and despite the drop-off in sack numbers, Pro Football Focus’ advanced metrics have consistently pegged him as a top-tier edge defender. His return, and the imminent returns of fellow D-linemen Randy Gregory and Neville Gallimore, will be a massive boost to the Cowboys’ playoff push.

Dallas has lost another defender to injury, however. The team announced that it has placed safety Donovan Wilson, who is dealing with chest and shoulder ailments, on IR.

Wilson, a 2019 sixth-rounder, started 10 games for the Cowboys last season, notching 71 tackles, 3.5 sacks, and three passes defensed. He suffered a groin injury in training camp this year and aggravated the injury in Week 1, which forced him to miss the next four games. He was gradually eased back into action, and he started both of Dallas’ last two contests. On the season, he has 18 tackles and a pass defensed, and he presently ranks as Pro Football Focus’ 46th-best safety out of 91 qualifiers.

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Latest On Cowboys’ D-Line Injuries

The Cowboys should be getting a major boost to their front seven within the month. Defensive ends DeMarcus Lawrence and Randy Gregory, both currently on IR, could be back in action in the next three to four weeks, per club VP Stephen Jones (Twitter link via Jon Machota of The Athletic). DT Neville Gallimore is on the same timeline.

Dallas responded to its surprising loss at the hands of the Broncos in Week 9 by administering a thorough dismantling of the Falcons last week, and the 7-2 outfit has the makings of a legitimate championship contender. Getting back two of their top pass rushers would, of course, go a long way towards a deep playoff run.

Lawrence played in the Cowboys’ season opener but then suffered a broken foot in practice, which has kept him on the sidelines ever since. The 29-year-old has not been producing the type of gaudy sack totals that he amassed over the 2017-18 seasons — which helped earn him a five-year, $105MM contract in March 2019 — but he is still a key piece of Dallas’ defensive front.

Gregory, after missing a great deal of time due to suspensions over his first few seasons in the league, had posted five sacks and 12 QB hits through seven games this year before suffering a calf injury in practice earlier this month. He is out of contract at season’s end, and if he continues to play well when he returns, he could be in line for a nice payday. The current expectation is that the club will explore a long-term pact with him this offseason.

Gallimore, a 2020 third-rounder, started nine games in his rookie campaign and was expected to serve as a starter again this year. A dislocated elbow has kept him on the shelf all season, but if nothing else, he could be a useful rotational piece on the interior of the D-line. Third-round rookie Osa Odighizuwa and veteran Carlos Watkins have not been especially effective as the Cowboys’ starting DT tandem in 2021.

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DeMarcus Lawrence To Miss 6-8 Weeks

Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence had surgery on his broken foot earlier today, according to head coach Mike McCarthy (Twitter link via Todd Archer of ESPN.com). The recovery will rule him out for the next 6-8 weeks, but McCarthy believes Lawrence will be back before the season is through.

The Cowboys have placed Lawrence on IR. The league’s short-term IR allows players to return after as little as three missed games, though the Cowboys won’t see Lawrence until November, at the earliest.

Obviously, losing DeMarcus, he’s a prime-time player for us. I thought he had a nice start in Tampa,” McCarthy said. “You hate to see these injuries to any of your guys, but what it does is it gives opportunities to the other players. How we will spread that out will be done through game plan. We’ll work on that today, tomorrow and Saturday. Specifically, we’ll get into that when we play the game.”

In the near term, they’ll have to get by without Lawrence and possibly Randy Gregory after his positive COVID-19 test. Dallas was already in an iffy spot with their D-Line — they were just one of two NFL teams without a sack in Week 1. That leaves them with less appealing options, such as Dorance Armstrong and Tarell Basham, backed by reserve DEs Bradlee Anae and Chauncey Golston.

Lawrence, a two-time Pro Bowler, notched 25 sacks between 2017 and 2018. He hasn’t approached that production since, but he was still solid in 2019 and 2020, collecting 11.5 sacks and 26 QB hits in 32 games (31 starts). From his sole game this year, he’s got five tackles and one forced fumble.

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Cowboys DE DeMarcus Lawrence Suffers Broken Foot, Out Indefinitely

DeMarcus Lawrence is out indefinitely. The Cowboys defensive end suffered a broken foot at practice and will be sidelined for the foreseeable future, according to NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport (via Twitter). The news was first reported by Joe Trahan of WFAA (on Twitter).

It’s uncertain if the injury will end Lawrence’s season, reports Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News (via Twitter). Doug Kyed of Pro Football Focus notes (on Twitter) that “there’s optimism it’s not season-ending,” while one source tells NFL Network’s Jane Slater that Lawrence will be sidelined for six to eight weeks (Twitter link). Rapoport has clarified that Lawrence broke the fifth-metatarsal in his foot and will need surgery, but if everything goes well, the pass rusher could be back by November.

This is a tough break for the Cowboys and their depleted pass rush, especially since Randy Gregory could also miss this weekend’s game after testing positive for COVID-19. Dallas was one of only two teams without a sack in Week 1, and their pass-rushing hopes will now depend on the likes of journeyman Tarell Basham.

Lawrence earned a pair of Pro Bowl nods in 2017 and 2018 after combining for 25 sacks between the two seasons. He hasn’t come close to matching that production since, but he was still productive in 2019 and 2020, collecting 11.5 sacks and 26 QB hits in 32 games (31 starts). The veteran started the offseason on PUP as he recovered from back surgery, but he still got back in time to appear in Week 1. He collected five tackles and one forced fumble in that contest.

It’s been a rough few days for the Cowboys after losing their season-opener to the Buccaneers. Lawrence fractured his foot, Gregory tested positive, right tackle La’el Collins was suspended, and receiver Michael Gallup was sidelined for at least the next month.

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Cowboys Place Amari Cooper, DeMarcus Lawrence On PUP

The Cowboys have placed wide receiver Amari Cooper and defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence on the Physically Unable to Perform list to begin training camp (Twitter link via Todd Archer of ESPN.com). Cooper is still recuperating from a lingering ankle issue while Lawrence has been hampered by back problems. 

Cooper, a seventh-year veteran, was previously scratched from Cowboys minicamp. He underwent minor ankle surgery in January but the latest trouble surfaced in May. The Pro Bowl wideout has been here before — a sprain cost him time in 2017 and reemerged in early last season. To date, Cooper has not missed a game as a Cowboy. But, if his recovery drags, they’ll be leaning more on Michael Gallup and CeeDee Lamb.

Lawrence nearly opted out last year, but ultimately went on to appear in all 16 games for the Cowboys with 6.5 sacks. Statistically, his best work came in 2017 and 2018 as he registered a combined 25 sacks. The Cowboys hope that he can quickly put his back (and shoulder) injuries behind him to resume his Pro Bowl form.

The stars will be joined on the list by kicker Greg Zuerlein (back), defensive tackle Trysten Hill (knee), newly-signed rookie defensive end Chauncey Golston (hamstring), and offensive tackle Mitch Hyatt (knee). The Cowboys will also place UDFA receiver T.J. Vasher on the non-football injury list as he works his way back from a knee injury suffered at Texas Tech.

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Cowboys Add Voidable Year To DeMarcus Lawrence’s Deal

DeMarcus Lawrence has agreed to extend his deal with a voidable year for salary cap purposes, as Tom Pelissero of NFL.com tweets. In essence, Lawrence’s deal remains the same. But, in terms of cap flexibility, it’ll make a huge difference for Dallas.

[RELATED: Cowboys Rework Zack Martin’s Deal]

By converting $15MM of the defensive end’s base salary into a signing bonus, the Cowboys will open up $12MM in cap space this year. Lawrence was happy to help – he’s now locked in a giant chunk of cash, protecting him in the event of any game cancelations in 2020.

The seventh-year defender gave some thought to opting out of the season, but ultimately decided to play. That was a big relief from the Cowboys, who are counting on lots of pressure from their star pass rusher. The sack production wasn’t there in 2019, the first year of his five-year, $105MM mega-deal, but he registered a combined 25 sacks between the 2017 and 2018 seasons. Now another year removed from shoulder surgery, the Cowboys have every reason to believe that Lawrence can resume his Pro Bowl form.

After restructuring Lawrence’s deal – as well as Zack Martin‘s contract – the Cowboys could be ready to spend. Despite word that the Cowboys have cooled on Earl Thomas, it’s worth noting that the star safety remains available.

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DeMarcus Lawrence To Report To Cowboys Camp

DeMarcus Lawrence considered opting out due to COVID-19 concerns. It is not known if the Pro Bowl Cowboys defensive end has decided to play, but he will report to Cowboys camp.

The seventh-year defender will report to camp Tuesday for coronavirus testing, Jane Slater of NFL.com and Calvin Watkins of the Dallas Morning News report (Twitter links). Lawrence still has time to determine he will not play this season, with players not required to inform teams of their opt-out plans until August 3.

Lawrence’s wife is pregnant with their second child, and the acclaimed pass rusher revealed some hesitancy regarding a return to action under the circumstances.

Shoot, I love to ride with my brothers and play the game of football. When I have to take that away from myself, it’s hard and I don’t want to make a decision like that,” Lawrence said. “But I also have to make sure I’m taking care of my family. Family is No. 1. After the game of football is done, that’s the only thing I have to depend on, so I’ve got to take care of them.”

Although Dallas added a host of veteran pass rushers — including Aldon Smith and Gerald McCoy — this offseason, Lawrence once again resides as the Cowboys’ top pressure artist. He is signed to a long-term contract that runs through the 2023 season.

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Cowboys’ DeMarcus Lawrence Considering Opt Out

Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence is mulling the possibility of opting out of the 2020 season, as ESPN.com’s Todd Archer writes. Lawrence, who has a baby on the way, wants to know more about the league’s plans and safety procedures before stepping on the field this fall.

Shoot, I love to ride with my brothers and play the game of football. When I have to take that away from myself, it’s hard and I don’t want to make a decision like that,” Lawrence said. “But I also have to make sure I’m taking care of my family. Family is No. 1. After the game of football is done, that’s the only thing I have to depend on, so I’ve got to take care of them.”

Lawrence won’t have long to get those answers – training camp opens in less than ten days, on July 28. A few days later, August 1, marks the proposed cut off date for players to make the call. Lawrence wants to know more about the living situation for players and the frequency of testing. So far, that’s all up in the air.

It’s those type of thing that make you think, ‘Man, are we some pawns? Is my life just a game,'” Lawrence said. “I know I ain’t got forever to play, but at the end of the day, come on, you’re just going to toss me around because you’ve got dollar signs in your face?

In Lawrence’s case, it’s a matter of many dollar signs. The 28-year-old is set to enter the second year of his five-year, $105MM mega-deal. If Lawrence doesn’t report for camp, he may have to forfeit a chunk of his signing bonus ($25MM in total). And, if the league’s latest proposal is finalized, Lawrence’s contract will toll. That means he’ll delay his next free agency turn for another year – a move that could cost him a fortune.

Despite offseason labrum surgery, Lawrence suited up for all 16 of the Cowboys’ regular season games last year. He posted only five sacks, but he registered a combined 25 sacks between the 2017 and 2018 seasons. This year, if he decides to play, he’ll look to get back to his Pro Bowl form.

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Cowboys Notes: Elliott, Garrett, Lawrence

Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett says he has stayed in contact with Ezekiel Elliott during his holdout (Twitter link via Jon Machota of The Athletic). He went on to say that the conversations have been “all very positive,” though there’s still no word on when Elliott will show up for work.

Publicly, both sides are attempting to paint a fairly rosy picture of what’s taking place. Last week, a story likely leaked from Elliott’s camp indicated that he is in shape and ready to go for the upcoming season, despite his absence from practice. Meanwhile, Garrett was quick to tell reporters that he is on good terms with his star running back.

While we wait for movement on the Elliott front, here’s more from Dallas:

  • The Cowboys are set to activate defensive linemen DeMarcus Lawrence and Tyrone Crawford from the PUP list, a source tells ESPN.com’s Todd Archer (on Twitter). Lawrence had shoulder surgery soon after signing his five-year, $101MM contract in April and has been out of action for the last few months. Crawford, meanwhile, is working through a hip issue that kept him out of the offseason program. Unfortunately, safety Byron Jones (hip) and receiver Noah Brown (knee) remain on PUP.
  • This week, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones acknowledged that a new deal for Dak Prescott would put him in the top tier of compensation for NFL quarterbacks.