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DeMarcus Lawrence is the new Morris Claiborne for the Cowboys

Cue all of the contract year talk.

Dallas Cowboys v Denver Broncos Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images

The single most dominating player for the Cowboys during their loss to the Denver Broncos was indisputably DeMarcus Lawrence.

In fact D-Law has arguably been the best player on the Cowboys through both of their games this season. He’s playing like the player the Cowboys traded up in the second round of the 2014 Draft for.

It’s honestly not that difficult to impress as a Dallas Cowboys pass rusher. We’re not expecting DeMarcus Ware, we just want somebody to get home every once in a while. Somebody who will take care of us, hold us, and make a defensive difference. Our requests are simple.

This is part of why Lawrence has seemed so awesome. We’re so desperate for a defensive pass rusher, we’re ready to jump. We’re seeing things that are literally, as sad as that is, unprecedented for this current crop of Marinelli’s mighty orphans.

While we may be more starving for this type of performance than other NFL fan bases, it doesn’t at all discredit what Lawrence is doing so far this season. Let’s say it again, he has been the single most dominating player on the Cowboys through two games.

In case you hadn’t heard though, DeMarcus is in a contract year. This is a narrative that rears its ugly head year after year, and here it is again. As Cowboys fans we’re familiar with defensive stars playing to the level we hoped when it was about time to negotiate. Remember Morris Claiborne last season?

Think back to when the Cowboys visited San Francisco last year. Forget that the team fell down 14-0 to Blaine Gabbert (yes that really happened) and choose to only remember the part where Morris Claiborne was awesome and had an interception that made things a whole lot better.

Lawrence mirrors Claiborne in more ways than that they played well in contract years, though. Both were traded-up-for high draft picks (granted Claiborne of a significantly higher degree), and both were expected to become leaders of the defense.

There were times when we saw ____ play well, times when he didn’t play well, times where he was hurt, a lot of times where he was injured, and near the end times with some great in-game action. This sentence is applicable to both Morris Claiborne and DeMarcus Lawrence (obviously we don’t know if this is his end though).

In the same sense that the Cowboys always have to have a player many feel is significantly overpaid (Tyrone Crawford took the mantle from Brandon Carr), it’s becoming a new tradition that they have to have a potential defensive star playing at the level we hoped during his contract year.

We learned our lesson with Morris Claiborne a season ago. It was just three weeks after that San Francisco game when he got hurt (again), and that indeed was the end for him. Let’s remember that before we jump the gun to sign Lawrence long-term right now.