As the Dallas Cowboys finalize their preparations for their upcoming training camp, an important decision is looming, if they will reward one of their defensive standouts.
With reporting date for training camp in Oxnard, CA around the corner, time is ticking on getting a long term deal done between the Dallas Cowboys and Defensive End DeMarcus Lawrence.
Last season, Lawrence, had a breakout season finishing third in the NFL with 14.5 sacks, behind only Chandler Jones and Calais Campbell. Lawrence mass production came in the final year of his rookie deal, providing the Cowboys brass with a decision to make regarding when to reward him for his solid performance.
“Last season, I proved to a lot of people what type of player I can be,” Lawrence said. “I worked hard in the off season. I rode my bike to practice and all of the different things that I did, played a part in my success on the field.”
If a new contract isn’t signed before 4:00 p.m. EST July 16 deadline, Lawrence will play under the franchise tag for the 2018 season. All franchise players under the collective agreement are only allowed to play under a one year agreement with their current team. Currently, Lawrence remains under the terms of the franchise tag, as he will count for $17.1 million against the Cowboys salary cap for the upcoming season.
Many NFL players have held out or get upset about playing under the franchise tag. Not Lawrence, he is taking it all in stride.
“It didn’t bother me at all,” Lawrence explained about the Cowboys placing the franchise tag designation on him. “There are some things that you just have no control over and you have to deal with the situation at hand.”
All indications from the Cowboys front office is they are now looking to Lawrence to duplicate his performance this season before rewarding him with a long term deal.
Lawrence will be striving to become the first Cowboys defensive player since DeMarcus Ware, to register double digit sacks since back in the 2010-11 campaigns. His breakout season in 2017, also saw him grade out as Pro Football Focus’ third best edge defender behind only Cameron Jordan and Von Miller.
This weekend (July 7,) a rumour surfaced through the reporting of Calvin Watkins of The Athletic, that Lawrence is completely fine with playing out the season with hopes that he will “break the bank,” if he is able to duplicate last season’s success. The report
also indicated that Tank Lawrence’s goal is a five year deal and he would prefer to see what his counterparts Aaron Donald, Khalil Mack and Jadeveon Clowney sign for, before inking his next deal.
Just like with any negotiation there is a lot at stake and if Lawrence has a repeat performance, the negotiations will only get a little trickier to sort out, but he will have set himself up to be paid like one of the elite pass rushers in the game.