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Cowboys News: Finally healthy, Demarcus Lawrence has become the QB Hunter Cowboys expected him to be

Demarcus Lawrence is a beast, the Cowboys return to their winning formula, Dak Prescott’s leadership is strong, and more on the pre-game decision by the Cowboys to take a knee before the anthem.

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Arizona Cardinals Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Lawrence Explains His League-Leading Start: “I’m Healthy And I’m Myself” - Rob Philips, The Mothership

DeMarcus Lawrence is playing like the man the Cowboys hoped they had when they traded up for him in the 2014 draft.

DeMarcus Lawrence isn’t giving the belt back. Not this week, for sure.

With three more sacks on Monday night pushing his early-season total to a league-best 6.5, the 25-year-old defensive end still holds the green-strap championship boxing belt given to the Cowboys’ defensive lineman of the week.

“It’s mine,” he said with a smile after the team’s 28-17 win over the Arizona Cardinals. “Undisputed.”

There’s no disputing this: Through three games, Lawrence is tormenting offenses like no Cowboys pass rusher has since another DeMarcus (Ware) a few years back.

Lawrence's sacks drawing notice around NFL - Drew Davison, Fort Worth Star-Telegram

DeMarcus Lawrence is bringing it.

DeMarcus Lawrence has already posted more sacks in three games than anyone on the Dallas Cowboys had a year ago.

Lawrence continued his strong start Monday night, sacking Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer three times. Lawrence has 6.5 on the season and is just the third player in NFL history to register more than one sack in each of the opening three games along with Mark Gastineau and Hall of Famer Kevin Greene.

To put it more perspective, Benson Mayowa led the Cowboys with six sacks last season.

Meet Demarcus Lawrence, Cowboys ‘QB Hunter’ - Mike Fisher, CBS DFW
Many people might be surprised by Demarcus Lawrence's sudden emergence, but this article from 2014, published just a few days after the draft, suggests Lawrence is performing exactly as the Cowboys expected.

Right before the Cowboys made official their decision Friday to knowingly overpay for a trade-up to get Boise State defensive end Demarcus Lawrence with the 34th overall selection in the NFL Draft, Dallas personnel boss Will McClay leaned on the war-room table to express his support of the move to Jerry and Stephen Jones.

“Lawrence,” McClay said matter-of-factly, “is a Quarterback Hunter.”

Suspect no more? Maliek Collins says there is 'no reason' Cowboys' defense can't be dominant - David Moore, DMN

Maliek is overshadowed by DeMarcus Lawrence, but is having a good start as well.

"That's what happened on those early drives. Somehow, some way, we needed to change some things up on the back and we needed to start getting closer to him. As the game wore on, I thought we wore them out a little bit up front and we were able to get closer and closer to him, collapse that pocket and make him feel uncomfortable.''

Lawrence and Collins made him more uncomfortable than anyone else.

"We're going to continue to grow,'' Collins said. "We're going to continue to get better, strive for the best.

"That's all we know how to do, just keep playing. The way we grind in practice every week, there's no reason for us not to come out here and be dominant.''

Sullivan: The Cowboys Got Back To Their Winning Formula In Arizona - Jeff Sullivan, The Mothership

Sullivan is always a good read. He liked a lot, but here was one of his concerns. It’s one many of us share.

Mentioned this on Twitter during the game: The offensive line just isn’t playing like the best unit in the NFL, which they have so often been classified as the last few years. And usually deservedly so. There are almost no holes for Zeke and Dak escaped pressure on many occasions, taking four hits. Tyron Smith allowed the lone sack. Maybe just need time to mesh with the two new starters. Maybe Ronald Leary was a lot better than anyone realized. Maybe this is all forgotten in a few weeks when they are manhandling defensive fronts. Not sure.

Secondary still needs work - Daniel Ruppert, Fansided

The Dallas Cowboys pass rush looks much improved over last season, but the secondary is struggling and still clearly needs some work.

It wasn’t until Rod Marinelli decided to go to a three man front and have more players in the secondary did the Cowboys finally look solid on defense. However, you can’t do that every week or on every down. So while there was some good things shown by the defense, the last two weeks has shown just how far they need to come.

Trolling The Nation for Cowboys @ Cardinals: "Dez Bryant just broke Patrick Peterson's ankles." - OCC, BtB

If you missed OCC’s first Trolling the Nation post of the season yesterday, here’s another chance to catch it. This line is gross, but funny.

I liked these too.

This guy is a riot! His game recaps are a must-watch.

Dak and Zeke report: Gritty win for the Cowboys in Arizona - VAfan, BtB

Dak and Zeke were connected to all four Dallas TDs in Arizona, but Brice Butler, Terrance Williams, and Dez Bryant all played important roles as well.

This was Dak’s second best game ever for ANY/A, and essentially a tie for second best in passer rating. On 18 passing attempts and three rushes, Dak helped Dallas gain 199 yards and score three touchdowns. He hit two perfect bombs to Brice Butler. He also re-introduced the read-option quarterback keeper. And he escaped one potential sack by rolling to his left and hitting Terrance Williams with a 22-yard strike.

As Jason Garrett said in the post-game interview, Dak displayed incredible leadership and poise. It wasn’t a great start to the game, and had the second Arizona touchdown held up, or even the field goal been made, it’s not clear how Dallas could have climbed out of a 14-0 hole. But fortunately they didn’t have to. Once Dallas clawed back to a 7-7 tie, the game was decidedly in Dallas’s favor, with Arizona trying to catch up.

Cowboys wideout Dez Bryant on concerns about his numbers: 'That's funny to me' - Jared Dubin,

Dallas receiver has only 11 catches for 114 yards through three games, which are not close to his career averages.

Dez, though, is not concerned about his lagging numbers, per the Dallas Morning News.

"That's funny to me," Bryant said after the Cowboys' win over the Arizona Cardinalson Monday night, referring to recent insinuations that his talent level has fallen off. "That don't bother me because I know who I am. Just because certain people don't see me get targets this game, it don't mean nothing.

And then he does this.

The Cowboys' kneel is a bigger deal for the historically divisive America's Team | Commentary - Charles Scutter, DMN

I remember this Cowboys era. How far the team has come.

Consider, for a moment, Duane Thomas on the San Diego sideline.

It’s a crisp Sunday afternoon in San Diego in November 1972, and the Chargers and Cowboys have lined up on their respective sidelines for the playing of the national anthem.

Dallas Cowboys running back Duane Thomas sits along on bleachers at training camp in New Orleans. Thomas refused to pose for pictures or interviews by sports writers.

Thomas scored the first-ever touchdown in Texas Stadium as a Cowboy. He carried the team to its first Super Bowl win. He’d spoken up for injustices he saw in his community and around the nation. He criticized a double standard for white and black players on the team, and was run out of Dallas for being a "troublemaker."

Jerry Jones created pre-anthem plan - Clarence Hill, Jr., Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Leave it to Jerry Jones to take credit for the way the team came together before the game Monday night. Despite the boos, it worked. The Dallas Cowboys showed respect for the flag and made a statement of solidarity about racial equality.

It was Jones who came up with the idea for the Cowboys’ organized, coordinated and unified response to President Donald Trump’s criticism of NFL players for protesting racial inequality during the national anthem.

Jones, who donated $1 million through one of his companies to Trump’s inaugural committee, refused to call out the president for his controversial remarks, but took pride in how the team handled the situation that ultimately was his creation.


“I was just happy we were able to do something together,” receiver Brice Butler said. “Initially, we had a certain plan. Then Jerry (Jones) came and spoke to us before the game and was like, “Just trust me on this, let’s do this together.’ That was Jerry’s plan. I actually liked it because everybody did it.”

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