For years the Dallas Cowboys have searched for a “war daddy” pass rusher, and alas - they finally have one in DeMarcus Lawrence. Yet here we are at the end of March and the front office hasn’t been able to sign him to a long-term deal. For the second-straight offseason, the Cowboys have slapped the franchise tag on him. Last year, the tag was perceived as an opportunity for Lawrence to demonstrate he wasn’t a one-year wonder after a breakout season in 2017 where he had 14.5 sacks. And he did that. This season, the tag is more of a placeholder while the two sides work toward a common ground on a new deal. But for some reason, the two sides are still far apart.
Based on a report from Calvin Watkins of The Athletic, Team Lawrence is looking for a contract that would pay him $22.5 million annually. The front office, however is looking for a deal worth $20 million. The Cowboys have always felt confident that a deal would get done and nothing seems to have changed, however Lawrence’s asking price has increased and that has added another wrinkle in this ordeal.
The gap between the sides continues to widen. According to multiple sources, Lawrence’s demands increased in the last few weeks. He went from asking for an average salary of $20 million per season to $22.5 million. Last month, the Cowboys were unwilling to give Lawrence a $20 million average, but have since increased their offer to that point. Sources indicate the Cowboys are willing to give Lawrence a six-year contract that would make him the highest-paid 4-3 defensive end in the NFL with an average salary of $20 million. Lawrence, according to sources, is seeking more.
Why is he suddenly asking for more money? Does the recent Randy Gregory situation add a level of importance to Lawrence’s value to the team? Maybe the fact that Trey Flowers just got a five-year, $90 million contract with the Detroit Lions that will pay him an average salary of $18 million has something to do with it? Flowers had a nice season last year with a career high 7.5 sacks, but that’s nothing compared to what Tank has done over the last couple seasons. Clearly, Lawrence is not in that same group and commands much more money.
But how much more is the question. Stephen Jones weighed in on the Lawrence situation.
“We’re motivated to do it right now. We were motivated to do it before we put the tag on him. At the same time, we have some conviction of the range he should be in in terms of his compensation and I’m sure they have some conviction of what they’re asking for.
”I’m not being critical, but therein lies the root of the negotiations.’’
Everything points to the Cowboys eventually giving in to his demands. They have to. Let’s lay everything out on the table.
The case for caving and paying DeMarcus Lawrence
Lawrence is a top talent at a position that is extremely valuable in the NFL. This is where their money should go. He’s proven that he’s not a fluke as every season he’s been healthy, he’s played at a high level. Even last season he played with a torn labrum, but still had a great season.
He’s still young and has many great years ahead of him. To make things even better is the fact that Tank isn’t this athletic freak that gets by on pure physical ability, but rather a combination of things that make him one of the best at his crafts.
His technique is outstanding and this is something that he can carry with him even when age starts to play a factor. Lawrence is not going to be declining anytime soon. He’s one of the game’s best edge rushers and deserves to be paid like one. This is a good investment.
The Cowboys front office is not being obtuse and this isn’t meant to show Lawrence any disrespect. Instead, it’s all about the Benjamin's. They are just waiting this out as long as they can so they can get the best deal. They did the same thing with Zack Martin (who’s deal came in June of last year), who we all knew had zero chance of not being extended long term.
It’s likely that a deal is going to get done. It has to. Hopefully that magic number can be reached and both sides will be happy. Let’s just hope this can happen sooner versus later.
Who do you agree with in this standoff?
This poll is closed
Both sides are right, it’s just one of those things