[Update]: The Cowboys have actually tagged Lawrence.
The Cowboys have turned in the paperwork to the NFL that they will place the franchise tag on defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence, according to a source. They had until 3 p.m. Tuesday to make it official. As a result, the Pro Bowl defensive end will count... https://t.co/OExUeAKKDY— Todd Archer (@toddarcher) March 5, 2018
One of the biggest points, not questions but points, of this offseason for the Dallas Cowboys has been the expiring contract of DeMarcus Lawrence.
DLaw racked up 14.5 sacks last season, which was just lovely considering it was a contract year for him. He reportedly wants $17M per season, but according to Adam Schefter he and the Cowboys aren’t seeing eye to eye currently. The franchise tag cometh.
Cowboys and DE DeMarcus Lawrence will not reach a long-term deal before Tuesday’s franchise deadline, per source. Dallas has said it will place franchise tag on Lawrence if no long-term deal reached. So tag coming for Lawrence.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) March 5, 2018
This could work out to the best long-term interest of the Cowboys. They could have Lawrence on the tag all season, another contract year for him. If Lawrence can achieve the same levels of success in 2018, then come next offseason the sample size of his ability is larger, and the hesitation to commit to him in a big way is smaller.
However, if the Cowboys tag him and then don’t reach a long-term deal this offseason (deadline July 15th), Lawrence’s large cap hit under the tag salary is a detriment to this year’s salary cap.
It’s strange how the franchise tag has lost its bad vibes over the last few seasons. Players seem more willing than ever to play under it, and Lawrence may be the latest example. Perhaps Kirk Cousins is to thank for this.
Whether or not they work out a long-term deal with Lawrence, right now what we know is DLaw will be here in 2018, and that’s worth celebrating.