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Cowboys Banking on Bounce-Back Season From DE DeMarcus Lawrence

There was a moment earlier in the when it appeared that the and might have reached an impasse in their relationship. But after a renegotiated contract, both parties now head into 2022 with hope that the will be back to form.

Last season was one to forget for Lawrence. He broke his foot during practice for Dallas' Week Two game and was out for the next 10 games.

Tank returned in December and helped his team go 5-1 over the last six games of the regular season. Lawrence contributed three , a force fumble, and an interception returned for a touchdown during that stretch.

Back in March, Dallas approached DeMarcus about taking a pay cut to help their . Lawrence later shared that the initial offer was “disrespectful” and had him even requesting to be released by the team.

The Cowboys and Tank eventually agreed to a new three-year, $40 million deal that would reduce his salary cap number by $13 million in 2022. It brought down Lawrence's annual compensation but gave him 75% guaranteed money at $30 million. Essentially, DeMarcus traded total value of the contract for increased job security.

With Lawrence turning 30 last April that's no small win at this point in his career. For the Cowboys, it means putting significant faith in a defensive end who hasn't produced double-digit sacks since 2018.

You've seen it said on this site and many other places throughout ; there's more to being a DE than just sacks. While he hasn't been a premiere sack artist since his Pro Bowl seasons in 2017-2018, DeMarcus has been one of the NFL's elite run defenders and still contributes consistently as a pass rusher with QB pressures and hits.

That said, it's the pass rushing that generally gets defensive ends the big contracts. That's what got Lawrence his back in 2019 after two-straight years on the . And after the sack numbers dropped, that's what had Dallas looking to rethink his compensation.

With LB now in the mix the Cowboys probably aren't expecting DeMarcus to lead them in sacks in 2022 or beyond. But now that 's in Denver and the next-best guy is , Lawrence needs to at least be a consistent threat to help provide balance on the .

What would that look like by the end of the season? We'd all love to see double-digits again from Tank, but even just an uptick to something around eight sacks would be a nice contribution.

Again, Lawrence does plenty of other good things to justify his existence. The Cowboys confirmed that by working out this new deal that will almost assuredly keep DeMarcus with the team for the next two years and perhaps through 2024.

But hopefully, with full health and Parsons now the focal point of the , DeMarcus Lawrence can have one of his best seasons in 2022. Dallas certainly thinks he's capable based on the contract decision and another impact player is sorely needed for the Cowboys to achieve their goals.

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!

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Anthony

This is the most violent and physical player on the roster that did not get smacked around in the playoffs. He is worth every penny and will get his sack numbers up health willing.. More players like him and we are getting sized for a ring. Bank on it.

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