With brown hair and a gangly build with Coke bottle rimmed glasses, a man dressed in a red and white striped shirt with matching stocking cap entertained many of us growing up. Hiding in plain sight we frantically searched the page he was hidden on. Where’s Waldo? This is what comes to mind when I think of DeMarcus Lawrence’s play so far this season.
Whether he means to or not, DeMarcus Lawrence has been doing his best “Where’s Waldo?” impersonation through the first three weeks of the 2020 season. The relentlessness and effort is still there, but sadly the production is not. With all of the other defensive woes, Lawrence’s ineffectiveness is somewhat flying under the radar.
Now, I’m not here to call out DeMarcus Lawrence or suggest he’s any more responsible than anyone else for the Dallas Cowboys struggles on the defensive by the ball. I merely wanted to point out it’s time for No. 90 to play up to his talent and pay grade. To do that he probably needs to make a few adjustments, starting from the ground up.
Make no mistake, DeMarcus Lawrence is still one of the better EDGE players in the NFL. His struggles thus far this season aren’t really all his fault. There’s reason to believe he can rebound and become the dominant force he once was, but first he needs to go back to what’s worked for him in the past. Getting healthy won’t hurt either.
I could be completely wrong, but I believe DeMarcus Lawrence is struggling to adjust playing from a two-point stance. Throughout his career he’s played with his hand in the dirt in a three-point stance. Trying to adjust to a new system playing standing up is unfortunately impacting his technique and explosiveness off the ball. But, I don’t think that will continue much longer.
Health aside – that will eventually work itself out – DeMarcus Lawrence needs to go back to playing with his hand in the dirt. That’s where he’s at his best, at least right now. In time and with a full offseason to work on it, Lawrence could end up being just as effective standing up as he is in a three-point stance. But now’s not the time to tinker with things.
I fully expect DeMarcus Lawrence to return to his dominant form, making a huge impact as both a run defender and pass rusher. I know there are a lot of people out there around Cowboys Nation who believe the Dallas Cowboys have overpaid him and aren’t getting the return on their investment, but I promise you would be wrong. He’s worth every penny and will end up proving it in the end.
I don’t think No. 90 will be just another face in the crowd any longer once he gets healthy and returns to playing from a three-point stance. I think he’s going to start standing out in games from here on out. He may have started 2020 a little slow, but we all know it’s not how you start…it’s how you finish.