Over the last couple of years as DeMarcus Lawrence first became eligible to negotiate his first long-term contract, a debate raged of his worthiness to be paid one of the top contracts in the NFL among edge players (3-4 outside linebackers and 4-3 defensive ends).
Many felt that he wasn't on the same level as Khalil Mack or Von Miller as a pass rusher and therefore shouldn't get paid accordingly. There point was that Lawrence didn't rack up the sack numbers that those others have and that's true, but pass rushing effectiveness isn't merely based on sack totals, though they matter.
Well, according to Pro Football Focus' grading scale, only one player has been a better pass rusher since the start of 2017 than DeMarcus Lawrence. Since 2017, only Von Miller has a better passing rushing grade than DeMarcus Lawrence.
Lawrence is one of the more disruptive players in the NFL and the best player on the Dallas Cowboys defense. Here's what Anthony Treash from Pro Football Focus had to say about DeMarcus Lawrence.
"During the 2018 regular season, Lawrence put up an 89.5 overall grade (seventh), an 84.4 pass-rush grade (ninth), 44 defensive stops (fourth) and 63 total pressures (15th). And that astonishing two-year stretch has quite rightly catapulted him into the conversation for the NFL’s best young pass-rusher. Since 2017, Lawrence’s 91.4 pass-rush grade is the second-highest among edge defenders, trailing only Von Miller. Moreover, his 19.4% pass-rush win rate and 15.5% pressure rate in that timespan rank sixth and fifth among his position group, respectively."
Anthony Treash - Pro Football Focus
I've had several debates with folks who don't want to include DeMarcus Lawrence in the same tier of player as Khalil Mack or Von Miller, but he's right there with those guys.
The $21 million annual average salary that DeMarcus Lawrence signed for his the second largest per year contract among edge rushers. Only Khalil Mack is making more on a per year basis than Lawrence. In total guarantees, Lawrence sits only behind Mack and Denver Broncos outside linebacker Von Miller.
Over the last two years, Lawrence has also been one of the best run defenders in the NFL. In 2018, among players with at least 202 run snaps, DeMarcus Lawrence finished second only to Calais Campbell in run stop percentage per Pro Football Focus. Lawrence made a run stop on 12.3% of his run snaps and was fourth in total stops.
Moving into 2019, Lawrence will be coming off of offseason shoulder surgery, but hopefully will be ready for the start of the season. Despite whatever numbers he finishes with at the end of the season, it won't be a full reflection of the impact he has on opposing offenses. Teams have to account for him on every play. The double teams he draws opens up opportunities for the rest of the defensive line and for blitzing players on rush downs. The effectiveness of which Lawrence plays the run makes it very difficult for teams to run wide to his side.
When the Dallas Cowboys moved up in the draft to select DeMarcus Lawrence, they had to wait several years for that risk to pay off. Now with Lawrence locked up for the next four years, the Cowboys will get the benefit of having one of the best pass rushers in the league through his prime years.
DeMarcus Lawrence's presence will keep the Dallas Cowboys defense as one of the best in the NFL for the next several years. And everyone with a star on his helmet will benefit greatly.
Report: Cowboys’ Travis Frederick Ready for Start of Training Camp
With the Dallas Cowboys opening training camp with their first practice on Saturday, July 27th in Oxnard, California, a lot of information is coming out regarding who will be available when they report.
It was already reported that Defensive End DeMarcus Lawrence and Cornerback Byron Jones will be placed on the physically unable to practice (P.U.P.) list to start training camp. Now, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network is reporting that Travis Frederick will avoid the Non-Football Injury list (NFI) and be ready to report for the starting of training camp.
Very good news for the #Cowboys: All-Pro C Travis Frederick, who dealt with Guillain-Barré syndrome last year, is expected to be active for the start of training camp. He avoids NFI and is ready to go.
Frederick has been out of action for a year after being diagnosed with Guillen-Barre Syndrome during last year's training camp. Guillen-Barre is a disorder that can affect the peripheral neurological system. Basically, the neurological system that doesn't consist of the brain and the spinal cord, which is the central nervous system.
There was talk that Frederick might have been ready to go for the playoffs at the end of last season, but the team continued to hold him out in order to get him back 100% for 2019. It looks like the time has come for Frederick to regain his spot as the leader and lynch-pin of the offensive line.
While Joe Looney was effective in 2018, there's no doubt the team suffered a drop off from All-Pro Travis Frederick to career backup Looney. Getting Frederick back in the middle of the offensive line is the most significant upgrade the Dallas Cowboys could have made this offseason on either side of the football.
Frederick is one of the smartest players on the team and does a lot for Dak Prescott and the offensive line in terms of setting protections. For Dak Prescott, he'll be able to have a little more faith that the front of his pocket will hold up if he needs to step up to make a throw. Frederick will also help Connor Williams as the two work combo blocks against opposing interior defenders. Frederick will immediately improve the Dallas Cowboys red zone offense as they'll be able to get more of a push on the interior.
It was almost expected that this would be the case, but hearing it for certain should give the Dallas Cowboys and their fans a lot of optimism for what's to come in 2019. Travis Frederick returning to the starting lineup is a huge addition for a Dallas Cowboys offense that looks ready to roll in 2019.
Cowboys DE DeMarcus Lawrence and CB Byron Jones to Start 2019 Camp on PUP
The Dallas Cowboys will be missing two of their defensive leaders when they open 2019 training camp this Saturday. Defensive End DeMarcus Lawrence and Cornerback Byron Jones will both start camp on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) List as they recover from offseason surgeries.
Lawrence, who got a new five-year contract in April, immediately underwent shoulder surgery once his deal was finalized. DeMarcus reportedly was waiting for contract negotiations to be completed before he had the procedure.
Jones had hip surgery in late May. He is playing 2019 on the fifth-year option from his original contract, and is no doubt hoping for his own long-term extension sometime in the near future.
Sources: DeMarcus Lawrence and Byron Jones will open Cowboys camp on PUP and won't practice in California https://t.co/jzWV5FjBO6 via @sportsdaydfw
Neither Lawrence or Jones, who are both coming of Pro Bowl seasons in 2018, are expected to be absent once the regular season starts in September. But either participating in this year's training camp is doubtful, and even preseason appearances are in question right now.
With DeMarcus out at DE, newcomers like Robert Quinn and Kerry Hyder will get plenty of chances to show their stuff. It's also a nice opportunity for Taco Charlton, assuming he's recovered from his own offseason surgery, to get some work against the first-team offensive line.
No Byron at CB will give Jourdan Lewis a nice opportunity to work with the starters as well. He was likely stuck at the 4th spot behind Jones, Chidobe Awuzie, and Anthony Brown but should now get more time on the field and against the best competition.
Breaking News: Allen Hurns Released
The Dallas Cowboys are releasing Wide Receiver Allen Hurns after just one season with the team according to ESPN's Adam Schefter.
Cowboys releasing WR Allen Hurns, per source.
Hurns was brought in as a possible replacement for Dez Bryant considering they had a similar skill set, but that never quite worked out. He only managed 20 receptions for 295 yards and 2 touchdowns in 7 starts. He's coming off a horrific leg injury suffered in the Cowboys playoff win against the Seahawks last season.
This saves the Cowboys 5 million in cap space putting them around 24 million overall heading into the 2019 season currently. This now opens up snaps for some of the younger receivers on the Cowboys roster.
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