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Report: DeMarcus Lawrence likely to be franchised tagged by Cowboys

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Not a surprise, just the next step.

NFL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Dallas Cowboys Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

What’s the opposite of a surprise? It’s time for all of us to yell whatever it is as one of the more obvious things this offseason is becoming all the more obvious... it’s almost tag time.

As we are indeed moving along this offseason we’re reaching the point where franchise tags are going to be handed out. The Cowboys have a situation that they need to figure out in DeMarcus Lawrence, one where the tag makes a lot of sense, and on Friday NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport confirmed what makes sense... it’s likely coming.

Dallas used the tag on Lawrence a year ago and were unable to come to terms with him a long-term contract. It was their sixth overall utilization of the franchise tag which would make this lucky number seven.

What’s more is the Cowboys have used the tag on a player in consecutive offseasons before. Back in 2012 and 2013 we saw the team give it to another pass rusher in Anthony Spencer and it wound up being the best way to handle that whole situation financially. There are many that believe in the future of DeMarcus Lawrence’s career, but the tough reality from the franchise’s side is that it’s an extremely expensive one.

Rapoport notes in his report that Lawrence is “firmly” in the Cowboys plans but that there is “no momentum” towards a deal being done yet. Tank has been a big factor in the defensive identity that the team has cultivated, losing him would be a huge step backwards in their overall efforts. The Cowboys obviously know this, but as DeMarcus has said before the ball really is in their court at this point.

Teams can begin giving the franchise tag to players on Tuesday. Get ready to see DeMarcus Lawrence on the list.