I won’t dare deny DeMarcus Lawrence missing crucial practice time and regular season games isn’t a major setback for this Dallas Cowboys defense. It certainly hurts his progress immensely.
Training camp, preseason contests, and every regular season game is critical to a learning rookie. With that in mind, let’s also not forget he was running 2nd team behind Jeremy Mincey at the time of the injury.
There was a reason he wasn’t plugged in as the Day One camp starter, while Zack Martin was immediately named the starter over veteran RG Mackenzy Bernadeau. Lawrence still had a ways to go to take that spot.
That being said, if Dallas was forced to pick a month of the regular season for Lawrence to miss, September is by far the ideal choice. His pass rush subtraction will be least harmful to the defense during that stretch.
Before you call me crazy, let me explain this logic. In September Dallas faces San Francisco, Tennessee, St. Louis, and New Orleans. We all know New Orleans features one of the most dominant passing offenses in the league.
Lawrence’s absence will sting badly in that one without question. However, let’s take a look at the first 3 September opponents and their 2013 offensive production.