All-Pro Defensive End DeMarcus Lawrence has built a reputation over the last two seasons as one of the best pass rushers in the NFL. His 25 sacks over that span made him a household name and the unquestioned leader of the Dallas Cowboys defensive line. That dominance paid off back in April when he signed a five-year 105 million dollar extension with 65 million in guarantees. With that amount of money comes a lot of pressure and responsibility to perform consistently at a high level. Lawrence hasn’t caused his usual havoc so far in the first four games, due in large part to him seeing double teams more than any other edge rusher. Now with Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers coming to town this Sunday, it’s time for Lawrence to feast.
There are a few things that could assist Lawrence in dominating this Sunday. For one, Packers Right Tackle Bryan Bulaga is questionable to play as he deals with a shoulder injury that he suffered last week against the Philadelphia Eagles. He has practiced the last few days which would suggest that he’s preparing to play but it’s doubtful he’ll be 100%. Lawrence should see this as an opportunity to take advantage of a wounded dog so to speak and make life difficult for Rodgers.
Another huge factor is that Wide Receiver Davante Adams has been ruled out Sunday as he deals with turf toe. Without him, the Packers don’t really have anyone who can stretch the field against the Cowboys secondary. The longer Rodgers has to sit in the pocket the more of a sitting duck he becomes for Lawrence and the pass rush. The absence of Adams is definitely something to keep an eye on.
Lastly, there’s the Robert Quinn effect. Quinn has been lights out in his first two games as a Cowboy with 3 sacks and 11 quarterback pressures. If he can continue this level of production it will force the Packers to double team him and free up Lawrence, who as we mentioned earlier has faced the most double teams of any edge rusher in the league so far in 2019. This is exactly why the Cowboys traded for Quinn in March, to pair him with Lawrence to form one of the best pass-rushing duos in the NFL.
Lawrence is currently on pace for 10 sacks which would be his third consecutive season hitting double-digits in that category. Even with that being true, he still hasn’t dominated a game as we’ve seen in the past. The Packers have won their last three games in Dallas, and if the Cowboys want that to change, they must pressure Rodgers early and often. It’s time for “Tank” to take over and remind everyone that he’s still one of the best pass rushers in the league.