There have been a lot of things said over the last few days about Dallas Cowboys pass rusher DeMarcus Lawrence.
First, word surfaced that the Cowboys were getting ready to tag him on Tuesday (the window is officially open for NFL teams to do so). Shortly after that report, it came out that the team would in fact not be placing the franchise tag on the defensive end right away. Now, it is being reported that Tank wouldn’t sign the franchise tag contract according to NFL Network’s Tom Pelissero.
The #Cowboys have two weeks to keep things cordial and get a long-term deal done with DeMarcus Lawrence, who won‘t sign a second franchise tender. Also, what would the transition tag mean for Le’Veon Bell? @nflnetwork pic.twitter.com/qb42AFhcRF— Tom Pelissero (@TomPelissero) February 19, 2019
The franchise tag value for Lawrence this year would be north of $20M. This is in part due to the market of pass rushers in the NFL but it’s also due to the fact that the Cowboys gave it to him last year.
That number is astronomical when it comes to any player, but it’s the market rate for the game’s best defensive ends. We saw what happened with Khalil Mack and the Oakland Raiders last year, it got to a point of such disagreement that he was shipped to the Chicago Bears (where he got his big deal). Dallas is likely going to have to beat that deal or come awfully close to it.
From @nflnetwork a short time ago, the #Cowboys wanted to wait and see on DeMarcus Lawrence a year ago. Well, the price has gone up now. They’ll try to do a long-term deal before the franchise tag deadline but it’s gonna have to be at $20m+ per season. pic.twitter.com/ZvJKt6VEb9— Mike Garafolo (@MikeGarafolo) February 19, 2019
It seems like the Cowboys have every intention of trying to get a long-term contract done with Lawrence, but that’s hard. When millions of dollars are on the line things aren’t exactly calm and collected. One line of thought in this whole process was that the Cowboys could give him the franchise tag in an effort to buy time, keeping other teams from talking to him being the goal, but if they don’t tag him that potential goal will never be achieved.
There’s an interesting theory that Gavin Dawson of 105.3 The Fan floated out regarding a tweet from Tank. Back on February 10th the sack guru tweeted out a cryptic message that said “they” were lying. Who’s they? We don’t know. Dawson speculated that Lawrence could maybe be talking about the Cowboys delivering the message that the tag would in fact only serve as a utility to buy time. It’s difficult to prove, but not impossible.
When Tank tweeted #theylying last week I didnt have a theory on what he meant. I think it's pretty possible the Cowboys are telling him we have to tag you to keep exclusive rights so another team doesn't sign him. Trust us Tank we will do a long term, see you at OTAs right?— Gavin Dawson (@gavindawson) February 17, 2019
NFL Network’s Mike Garafolo mentioned in his hit that this whole ordeal will likely stretch into the NFL Combine which isn’t that far away. Teams have until March 5th to give out the franchise tag, the Cowboys better get to work if they want to avoid that potential fork in the road as Lawrence apparently wouldn’t even sign it.