DeMarcus Lawrence blew up last season to the tune of 14.5 sacks.
Fortunately for him, unfortunately for the Cowboys, this miraculous effort came during a contract year for DLaw. Dallas responded by rewarding Lawrence with a franchise tag (a cool $17.1M) back in early March, a deal that he signed hours later.
Today, July 16th, has long been the deadline for players that were franchise tagged to sign long-term contracts. If it didn’t get done by 4pm ET today, it was locked in for this season.
Multiple reports from various NFL insiders surfaced over the weekend all but confirmed that there would be no big-time deal between Lawrence and the Cowboys. It’s long been expected that he would play under the tag this season, but as the deadline is here, no deal was reached.
No deal for Steelers and RB Le'Veon Bell.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) July 16, 2018
No deal for Cowboys and DeMarcus Lawrence.
No deal for Lions and Ziggy Ansah.
No deal for Rams and Lamarcus Joyner.
A dud of a deadline day.
But the Free Agent Class of 2019 just got stronger.
Obviously it would have been ideal for the Cowboys to lock in DeMarcus Lawrence for the foreseeable future, but it’s understandable to approach his situation with some hesitation. There’s no denying that Lawrence has immense talent, but the sample size doesn’t exactly work strongly in his favor.
Lawrence racked up eight sacks in 2015 and followed it with with literally a single sack in 2016 after serving a four-game suspension to start that season. His 2017 season speaks for itself, but it makes sense to see more before committing a hefty chunk of cash to that effort.
This whole situation has a bit of an Anthony Spencer vibe to it (who the Cowboys franchised in both 2012 and 2013). It’s not apples to apples, but the Cowboys want to see more. 2018’s price to do so ($17.1M) is a bit more than five years ago, but the logic is the same.