DeMarcus Lawrence is going to be on the Dallas Cowboys’ roster in 2018, executive vice president Stephen Jones said on Thursday night.
It’s just a question of whether Lawrence and the Cowboys can reach a long-term deal, or whether the Cowboys will have to use the franchise tag on their top pass rusher.
“We won’t let D-Law not be a Dallas Cowboy next year,” said Jones, who attended the inaugural Jason Witten Collegiate Man of the Year Award ceremony at Ford Center.
“We’ll do everything we can to try to make something work and, if we don’t get it done, we’ll franchise him. Then we’ll go back to work.”
The Cowboys have until 3 p.m. March 6 to place the franchise tag on Lawrence, which would cost them about $17.5 million. That’s why they’d like to reach a long-term deal so they could structure the contract to avoid that significant of a cap hit.
“We’d like to not have that franchise tag hanging out there,” Jones said. “There’s a big negotiation ahead of us. But we don’t want DeMarcus Lawrence going anywhere. We think a lot of him.”
Either way, Lawrence is a necessity to bring back. This is a guy coming off a career year with 14.5 sacks, tying for second most in the league, and more than double the second-place man on the Cowboys (David Irving with seven).
Lawrence had a team-leading 52 quarterback pressures, double the second-place man – Tyrone Crawford with 26. In other words, Lawrence had more QB pressures than Crawford (26) and Maliek Collins (25) combined.