The impasse has passed.
A week after the Cowboys and DeMarcus Lawrence appeared to be set at a deadlock, the two sides have agreed to terms on a five-year extension. The deal solidifies the All-Pro rusher as the highest-paid defensive end in the NFL and is reportedly worth $105 million with $65 million guaranteed.
Though he has yet to ink his name to the reported contract, those numbers would make Lawrence the third-highest paid edge rusher in the NFL, trailing only Khalil Mack and Von Miller. It’s to be noted the $21 million/year salary is just above the $20 million franchise tag the team placed on him a month prior.
The agreement concludes one of the Cowboys most polarizing storylines in recent times and ends a month’s worth of speculation since Lawrence was placed on the franchise tag March 5.
New Number Who Dis? 😜 #LawN90rder
— DeMarcus Lawrence (@TankLawrence) April 5, 2019
The sixth-year defensive end was knowingly upset about being placed on the tag for the second-year in a row after consecutive seasons of reaching double-digits sacks. It seemingly caused a brief division between the two sides, which resulted in a lingering shoulder surgery hoovering over the heads of the Cowboys front office.
The method Lawrence intended to use as leverage in negotiations caused him to delay having the surgery until this point of the offseason. With the Pro Bowl left end now locked in for the foreseeable future, surgery seems to be the next highest priority for both Lawrence and the team as the estimated recovery time is expected to take several months.
Lawrence compiled 10.5 sacks during the 2018 season, but it was his contributions in the run game that helped lead the Cowboys to a top-10 defensive finish, a division crown and their second postseason appearance in three years. With the possibility of Lawrence not being a part of this team for the 2019 season now in the rearview, the team looks to employ a pair of Pro Bowlers as bookends on the defensive line.
Having just sent a 2020 sixth-round conditional pick to the Miami Dolphins for Robert Quinn, securing Lawrence further induces the idea of the team being all in for the 2019 season. Adding one of the team’s prominent leaders back to an improving defense, along with other recent free agent signings, gives the Cowboys a sense of comfort entering this year’s draft.
The “Hot Boyz”, as the defensive line has dubbed itself, has gotten its most blazing member back. And it appears the Cowboys defense is in line for another formidable 2019 season.
— Kavon Frazier (@Kay_BlackSimba) April 5, 2019
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