More

    Breaking Out: Will DeMarcus Lawrence Become Too Expensive for Cowboys?

    With 3.5 in just his first two games of 2017, defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence is on his way to a breakout season. With his rookie contract expiring this year, what does this mean for his financial future and his potential to remain with the ?

    Big things have always been expected for Lawrence, who Dallas who with the 34th overall pick in the 2014 . Dallas surrendered their third-round pick that year to Washington to move up 13 spots and draft DeMarcus. While he didn't have to be Reggie White or even to live up that investment, the Cowboys certainly expected him to become a key part of their .

    DeMarcus Lawrence
    DE DeMarcus Lawrence

    It's been a rough three years to start Lawrence's career. A foot in the 2014 took half of his rookie season and kept him as a limited rotation player once he returned. He did make a grand showing the that year, though, with the memorable sack and fumble plays against the Lions that helped seal victory.

    In 2015 Lawrence again had a slow start but then came on in the second half of the season, getting seven sacks in the final eight games. That flourish had everyone excited for the breakout season to come in 2016, but a four-game for PED use and ongoing back problems held Lawrence to just nine games played, only three as a starter, and zero sacks.

    Going into 2017 unfettered by any off-field drama and as healthy as he's been, Lawrence seems ready to finally live up to the hype. The results are obvious over two weeks; he's already more than halfway to matching last year's team-high of six sacks posted by .

    Even if his production drops to more normal levels, he still looks ready to have double-digit sacks on the year. Lawrence would be the first Cowboy to accomplish that since (11 sacks) in 2013. In case you're wondering, DeMarcus Ware has the all-time high with 20 sacks in 2008.

    5 Takeaways From Cowboys Win VS Giants
    DE DeMarcus Lawrence takes down Giants QB (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)

    If this proves to be a breakout season for DeMarcus Lawrence then it shouldn't be all that surprising. He has the magic elixir that is an expiring contract, which consistently seems to push athletes to new heights regardless of the sport they play.

    As a second-round pick, DeMarcus is not subject to the fifth-year team option that can be used on players taken in the . Unless the Cowboys work out a beforehand, Lawrence will be an unrestricted when the 2018 market opens.

    A 26-year-old pass rusher (Lawrence turns 26 in April) is about as attractive as it gets in NFL . Only a franchise is clearly more desirable. If the DeMarcus Lawrence we're seeing right now is the same guy come December and January, he stands to get about as lucrative a contract as a defensive player can get.

    Last year, 27-year-old Chandler Jones signed a five-year, $83 million deal to stay with the . , despite his nubs, got $62 million over four years from the Giants. Melvin Ingram got the same contract from the Chargers.

    Lawrence will be a year or two younger than these guys and has all ten fingers. He should be able to command at least what Chandler Jones did. He won't make money (six years, $115 million), but he could easily land somewhere in the middle.

    DeMarcus Lawrence
    DE DeMarcus Lawrence (James D. Smith/Dallas Cowboys)

    Would the Cowboys, who have moved to a much more fiscally conservative business model over the last few years, be willing to pay market value for DeMarcus Lawrence? Even if they can afford it against the , would other assets at defensive end give them motivation to allow Lawrence to walk?

    - Advertisement -

    Dallas just spent a first-round pick on . They would still have two more years on 's contract, who may have his own breakout before 2017 is over. There's also still to consider, who will be a next season and give Dallas more leverage to retain him.

    As we've already outlined, Lawrence could be one of the most attractive free agent pass rushers to hit free agency in a while. That attraction applies just as much to the Cowboys, though, as anyone. Give his young age, they may be more willing to pay top dollar than they have recently with other veterans who were closer to their 30s.

    These are obviously questions to be answered down the road, but every step along that road can change the equation. At the very least, a breakout season for DeMarcus Lawrence is a tremendous boon for the 2017 Dallas Cowboys and their quest to get past the of the playoffs. If he becomes too expensive for the Cowboys to keep, Lawrence must have had a pretty fantastic season. We can only hope.

    spot_imgspot_imgspot_img
    Jess Haynie
    Jess Haynie
    Cowboys fan since 1992, blogger since 2011. Bringing you the objectivity of an outside perspective with the passion of a die-hard fan. I love to talk to my readers, so please comment on any article and I'll be sure to respond!

    Latest

    3 Keys To Victory – Dallas Cowboys vs Washington Commanders

    After starting the season in the worst way possible,...

    Cowboys vs Commanders Game Prediction

    This weekend, the Dallas Cowboys will be hosting the...

    Week 4 Preview: Washington Commanders at Dallas Cowboys

    The 2-and-1 Dallas Cowboys are back home tomorrow against...

    Cowboys WR Noah Brown Is Solidifying His Value

    With back-to-back clutch performances against the Cincinnati Bengals and...

    Newsletter

    Daily Cowboys News in Your Inbox
    Name:*
    Your email address:*
    Please enter all required fields Click to hide
    Correct invalid entries Click to hide

    Don't miss

    3 Keys To Victory – Dallas Cowboys vs Washington Commanders

    After starting the season in the worst way possible,...

    Cowboys vs Commanders Game Prediction

    This weekend, the Dallas Cowboys will be hosting the...

    Week 4 Preview: Washington Commanders at Dallas Cowboys

    The 2-and-1 Dallas Cowboys are back home tomorrow against...

    Cowboys WR Noah Brown Is Solidifying His Value

    With back-to-back clutch performances against the Cincinnati Bengals and...

    How Kellen Moore Has Redeemed Himself

    During week one, the Dallas Cowboys faced off against...

    Hat-Trick: DeMarcus Lawrence 3 Sack Night Against Giants Ties Career High

    Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence notched three sacks against the Giants on Monday night. The Dallas defense is one of the best in the NFL....

    Comeback Campaign in Store for These Cowboys Players?

    We won't see anyone on the roster this year make an impact like Dak Prescott did in his return last season, but Dallas still...

    Cowboys Visit w/ Former Dan Quinn Draft Pick Takk McKinley

    The Cowboys seem to have a few guiding principles in their current approach to free agency. Two of them are financial conservatism and player...

    6 COMMENTS

    6 Comments
    Oldest
    Newest Most Voted
    Inline Feedbacks
    View all comments
    John Williams

    This is absolutely going to be the most difficult decision for the Dallas front office in the offseason.

    They seem to be ok with paying certain home grown players while allowing others to leave. I wonder if Lawrence’s desire to stay in Dallas will help them work something out that allows him to get a good-sized guarantee up front while allowing them long-term flexibility if his play falls off.

    Jess Haynie

    It’s a big dilemma, for sure. They got burned badly not long ago with Anthony Spencer’s contract year. I wonder if that will stick in their minds when dealing with Lawrence.

    John Williams

    Absolutely true. I also wonder if they’ll see it differently, because their isn’t a DeMarcus Ware and Jay Ratliff on the line helping him.

    Sure Maliek Collins is super disruptive, but it’s not like they have another player on the opposite side garnering much attention.

    I could see the franchise tag in Lawrence’s future.

    Larry Clutter

    Amazing how ALL players seem to be their best in a contract season. They play better, they play hurt, they dont get suspended for drug use (DeMarcus Lawrence), and they are not the same person that was being overpaid all the years before. Case in point. DeMarco Murray. Nuff said!

    Jess Haynie

    It’s a universal truth and it goes well beyond the NFL. We’d like to think “the love of the game” is all a guy needs, but that’s just not realistic.

    frank orick

    well if you have been a Cowboys fan as long as I have then you know that Jerry Jones has been salivating for a war Daddy type rusher,and he has taken some bold chances in free agency not to mention some heart breakerd in the draft. I do believe he will pay almost anything for that missing piece we havnt had since Demarcus Ware.A championship caliber sack master that can help the Cowboys make a deep playoff run,”Tank” Lawrence is on Pace to crush the season record (20 plus),and be the first Cowboy since Ware to have over 15 sacks in a single season,with 6.5 through 3games,it seems all he needs to do is stay healthy,With teamates coming off suspensions last week (demontre moore)and more help coming in these next few weeks and it will be hard to double team every one.I see were haters or anyone for that matter can say he has only went up against su par right tackles and he hasnt went up against any one of playoff Calibre or faced constant double teams,but there is no doubting he is red hot,and in a contract year none the less with alot too prove…