The latest from the Dallas Cowboys camp appears to be that the team has no intention of allowing DeMarcus Lawrence to head anywhere else. Lawrence could opt for NFL free agency but the Cowboys are reportedly planning to place the franchise tag on him. It won’t happen immediately, but in the near future, based on the latest reports.
On Monday, David Moore of the Dallas Morning News reported via his Twitter that the Cowboys aren’t planning to place the franchise tag on DeMarcus Lawrence this Tuesday. It’s the first day the team could tag him, but they’ll opt to do so by March 6 instead. The understanding between the Cowboys and Lawrence is that they’ll try to form a long-term deal with the defensive end. Moore indicates the two sides will have until July 16 to complete that deal.
Pro Football Rumors‘ Sam Robinson reported that the defensive end tag is expected to cost Dallas $17.5 million. It’s projected that they’ll enter the upcoming season with $19.1 million in cap space, which means they may need to free up more space to possibly attract a free agent to their team. There is already the speculation that the team will probably part ways with Dez Bryant unless he agrees to take a pay cut.
As far as their defensive end goes, he has been considered the team’s heir apparent to DeMarcus Ware, whom the Cowboys cut in 2013 after eight seasons. Dallas orchestrated a trade with the Washington Redskins in the 2014 NFL Draft in order to move up and select Lawrence as the No. 34 pick in the second round.
Lawrence struggled during his first three seasons in Dallas but it was due to injury issues and a suspension. This past season, he tallied 14.5 sacks including 7.5 of them in just the first three games. For his young career so far, he’s racked up 23.5 sacks and 133 tackles with 84 of those coming on his own. Lawrence has played in a total of 48 games over his four seasons with the team.
It’s now evident that the team has made keeping the defensive end on their roster their top priority of the offseason. They’ll also have the NFL Draft coming up in several months where they could add some more pieces to their puzzle ahead of the 2018-19 NFL season.