We’re continuing our countdown to the opening game of the Dallas Cowboys 2023 regular season. Each day we’ll present a new player whose jersey number represents the countdown to opening day. Today is number 90.
DE DeMarcus Lawrence
Born: 28th April 1992 (31) - Aiken, South Carolina
College: Boise State Broncos
Draft: 2014, Round 2, Pick 34, Dallas Cowboys
Defensive Stops: 49
DeMarcus “Tank” Lawrence transferred to Boise State in 2012 from Butler Community College. His first year at Boise State he led the team in tackles for loss (13.5), sacks (9.5) and forced fumbles with four. He also added 48 tackles and had two fumble recoveries, scoring off one with a 25-yard touchdown. In 2013 Lawrence made 72 tackles (third-most on the team), 20.5 tackles for loss (sixth in the nation and ninth in school history for a single season), 10.5 sacks (fifth in school history for a single season) and two blocked kicks. He had a streak of six-consecutive games with a sack and his 20 college career sacks are tied for the seventh-most in school history.
After losing one player called DeMarcus, the Cowboys quickly gained another with Lawrence. His first year was cut short when he broke a bone in his foot but played in the back half of the season. In the Wild Card Round that year the world caught an inclination of his ability when he caused two sack-fumbles against Matt Stafford which sealed and closed the game.
Some critics will point to Lawrence’s lack of sacks, but every year he ranks right at the top in run-stopping grade and his run-stopping skills are seen on the field. Last year, Lawrence played in Dan Quinn’s heavy rotational defensive line and his production was impressive. A leaner and lighter Lawrence in 2022 helped relieve his injuries he’s collected over the years, and he was a rejuvenated player that looked more like the Tank everyone saw when he came into the league.
2023 Roster Projection:
Taking a team-friendly deal shows how much Lawrence wants to play at Dallas. He’s known for his leadership and tutoring, which the younger guys really respond to, which is something that can’t be calculated by statistics. To have a player come in and spend an entire career for one team is impressive, and it’s even more impressive at the defensive end position. As he gets older, Tank will be rotated in and out more in the hopes of preserving his energy and health. Tank will continue to be a main contributor for this stellar Cowboys defensive line and based on how the coaches talk about him, this will be the case to the end of his career.
Projected 2023 Stats:
Defensive stops: 42
The Big Question:
Will Lawrence have back-to-back Pro Bowl seasons? Answer in the comments.