DeMarcus Lawrence Continues to Show his Value Goes Beyond Getting Sacks

    had back-to-back seasons of double-digit in 2017 and 2018. That led to him a five-year, $105 million contract in April of 2019. Since that time, Lawrence has only racked up 11.5 sacks, and many have labeled him as an overrated and overpaid player because of it.

    The mistake that a lot of people make when evaluating defensive ends is focusing solely on the number of sacks they get. Their responsibilities go beyond that. Things such as setting the and forcing running plays back inside as well as keeping constant pressure on the are also important. According to , Lawrence had a defensive grade of 91.4 against the and was credited with five quarterback pressures, the most of any Cowboys defender.

    Although his sack numbers haven't been huge lately Lawrence has still posted a top-10 pass-rush win rate as an since 2017 per PFF. Also, he's produced a 90.1 run- grade over that span as well making him one of only seven edge rushers to clear 90.0 since 2017.

    Lawrence had two plays in particular that stood out against the Buccaneers in terms of his dominance in the run game. In the first below, he sheds the block of one of the best young right tackles in the NFL, Tristan Wirfs. Lawrence resets his hands quickly and uses his power to toss Wirfs to the outside and make the . The second play was one of the biggest for the Cowboy's defense in . Lawrence, once again, does a great job of shedding the block of Wirfs and punches the ball out of the hands of Robert Jones II. The fumble was recovered by and set up an touchdown.

    The Buccaneers have a formidable running attack with Jones, Leonard Fournette, and Giovani Bernard. The latter didn't get any rushing attempts on Thursday night but the Cowboys held Jones and Fournette to 46 yards total on 13 carries, in large part to Lawrence's ability to set the edge and pursue plays down the line after shedding blocks.

    It may not show up in the stat sheet but Lawrence makes so many plays for his teammates. He's the Cowboy's best defender and the most important player on their defensive front seven.

    Matthew Lenix
    Matthew Lenix
    I write dope stuff about the Dallas Cowboys and what not.


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    Cowboy Fan Ed

    I’ve been critical of DL play after he signed that big contract a couple years ago but I wii say he played pretty good against the Bucs . I would have liked to seen him or RG blow around the edge and drive Brady in the grass every time he dropped back to pass but it just seemed that we never could get off the blocks to do that! I feel that to get to Brady a team will have to bring the heat straight up the middle because their OL will not let you get to him from the edge!


    No. No way.
    Lawrence costs 25 million and for that he has to get actual sacks. He takes all the defense line budget and ‘ pressures ‘ are not 25 million dollar plays.


    Have mixed feelings with Lawrence. While he’s not getting as many sacks, he does other good things. He very good vs the run, pursues well down field, and pretty much has a non stop motor. Still, would be great to see some sacks at crunch time. Like at the final game winning drive by Bucs.

    Terence Moore

    You guys do understand that sacks work hand and hand with pass coverage as well. Our secondary has been atrocious over the past few years. He is top 10 pass rush rating out of all edge rushers winning his match up the secondary just can’t hold water. Watch the game he’s constantly chipped by the running backs. Aldon Smith and Robert Quinn played opposite Dlaw and they ate. No coincidence Chandler Jones gets 5 sacks the moment JJ Watt walks in the building. It works hand and hand Jadeveon Clowney has been a shell of himself since playing with JJ watt