I have contemplated how to begin this article a number of ways. ‘Number one pass rusher of the last two seasons gets payed’ or ‘Dallas overpays for inconsistent pass rusher.’ Ultimately this deal could be make or break for the Dallas Cowboys in their next season as the organization seems to be going for an all or nothing break at the sixth ring for the Dallas Cowboys franchise.
April 5th, 2019 Demarcus Lawrence closed on a five year, $105 Million dollar deal with $65 Million guaranteed (Per Ian Rapoport). This is not a bit of surprise to me and should not be to anyone who read my article on Demarcus Lawrence threatening to hold out the rest of next season with the Dallas Cowboys placing a franchise tag worth $20.57 Million. Demarcus Lawrence discussed his discomforts with being franchise tagged for a second year after making $17.14 million the year Lawrence led the NFL in sacks (14.5).
Khalil Mack is a good reference to this situation. Khalil held out from any participation with the Oakland Raiders in the 2018 offseason, due to contract negotiations not being reached. New coach Jon Gruden was not taking Khalil seriously and ultimately traded Khalil Mack to the Chicago Bears for a first and sixth round pick in the 2019, and another first round, and third round in the 2020 draft. After Khalil made it to Chicago, the Bears made Khalil the most payed defensive player in NFL history with a $141 Million dollar, six year contract.
Khalil Mack from game one against the division rival, Green Bay Packers impressed not only the Chicago Bears, but NFL players and fans across the world. Khalil recorded 12.5 sacks, had one interception and one touchdown last season. Correlating directly to the Demarcus Lawrence contract disputes, Jerry Jones was not going to get fooled like Jon Gruden did.
I would like to address the pro’s and con’s of this decision by Jerry Jones from my stand point.
Pro: Demarcus Lawrence had 14.5 sacks in the 2017 NFL season (most in the NFL). This is important because the demand for pass rushers in the NFL is at an all time high and who better to lock up for a future than the NFL’s number one pass rusher?
Con: With the Dallas Cowboys attaining superstar names such as Demarcus Lawrence, Ezekiel Elliott, Amari Cooper, Dak Prescott, Leighton Vander-Esch, Jaylon Smith, etc. There will be no cap space in order to make this team into a dynasty unless key players take pay cut.
Pro: Since Demarcus Lawrence got hot, the team around him has got a lot better. In the 2018 season the Dallas Cowboys had one of the most prolific defenses in the NFL along with arguably the best defense in the NFL. Not making a case that Demarcus Lawrence is the root of the ‘Hot Boyz‘ good habits on the defensive side of the ball, however when Demarcus Lawrence is creating pressure the Dallas Cowboys are a playoff, if not, Super Bowl caliber team.
Con: Without attempting to keep comparing situations, Von Miller was given a six year $116 Million dollar contract back in 2016 by the Denver Broncos. Product of the Broncos Super Bowl in 2016, Von Miller rightfully deserved the money given as he brought a title home for the Denver Broncos organization. Demarcus Lawrence receiving this money with losing in the divisional round to the Los Angelas Rams will not encourage Demarcus Lawrence to fight for any goal.
Pro: Dallas Cowboys fans believe the franchise will win a Super Bowl even if they follow an 8-8 season. Respect to when the Dallas Cowboys went 1-15 in 1989, then brought home the Lombardi trophy in 1992, memories flashed when Dallas went 4-12 then 13-3 the next season. My point is, it is not crazy to believe that Jerry Jones is willing to do anything necessary for this season, to be the season, that Dallas brings home another Lombardi trophy. With Dallas locking Demarcus Lawrence in and eliminating the final distraction of the defensive star, this could be the Dallas Cowboy’s year.
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