If you’re anything like me, you have a few bones to pick with the Dallas Cowboys and how their year has gone so far through the first six games of the 2019 season. I personally have a list a mile long and at the top of that list is the playing time, usage of some of the Cowboys top playmakers. Today, I want to focus in on Defensive End DeMarcus Lawrence.
A lot of Cowboys Nation would probably agree with me here, but the Cowboys aren’t getting what they paid for this offseason when they made No. 90 one of the top paid players at his position. They made re-signing him their top priority this summer, but so far they aren’t really getting the kind of return on their investment they were probably expecting. Surprisingly, I think they’re partially responsible for his “so-called” like a production.
Now, before I dive deeper into why I believe this, I wanted to make it perfectly clear I believe DeMarcus Lawrence is still playing at a high level. Stats wise the numbers aren’t there due to the extra attention he’s been receiving through the first six weeks of the season, but that doesn’t mean he’s not playing at a high level. I think the stats might not be there because the Cowboys are, for some reason, limiting his amount of defensive snaps.
You may be surprised to learn, but DeMarcus Lawrence is only playing 62.59% of the Dallas Cowboys defensive snaps this season. I was actually shocked when I learned that. The Cowboys paid this guy to play and do so at a high level. That’s not going to happen if he’s not on the field more often. You don’t pay for a Lamborghini only to keep it in the garage. And that’s what Lawrence is, a Lamborghini.
If it was up to me, and probably DeMarcus himself, he wouldn’t come out of the game unless he absolutely needed to. I think this is the approach the Cowboys need to take with him moving forward. The same can be said for someone like Ezekiel Elliott as well. These two players are difference makers when on the field, but are completely worthless watching from the sidelines. That’s where opposing teams prefer having them.
As much as I find DeMarcus Lawrence’s defensive snap count thus far through the 2019 season unacceptable, I’m willing to give the Cowboys the benefit of doubt right now. I know they were cautious with him to start the season since he missed the majority of the offseason while recovering from shoulder surgery and he’s also been a little banged up. But if he’s healthy enough to suit up from here on out he needs to be on the field.
The day of limiting No. 90’s defensive snaps needs to end, especially this week against a division rival, the Philadelphia Eagles. He needs to be on the field to not only help contain the Eagles rushing attack, but also to apply pressure to Carson Wentz to hopefully limit his effectiveness in the passing game. To be blunt, the Cowboys simply don’t have the luxury of playing it safe any longer.