To start with, Lawrence is finally excelling at one of the top positions on the entire defense. Further, there’s an additional consideration at play here, and his name is Randy Gregory. The former Nebraska pass-rush specialist was chosen on a dare in the 2015 NFL Draft, but it doesn’t appear that he’s ever going to see a football field again, so that idea might as well be down the tubes.
Like Gregory, Lawrence was a second-round draft selection just a year before and it’s not like there’s much of a clue regarding who else might be the future edge rusher for the Dallas Cowboys defense. You think Damontre Moore is still on the rise? Is Benson Mayowa anything more than we see right now?
No, I don’t like the idea of spending huge dollars on a player for just one year of outstanding productivity. Further, the back issues surrounding Lawrence have to give the Cowboys pause as they ponder the idea of shelling out tens of millions of dollars for a player who’s produced two particular seasons in which he tallied just one sack – that’s in both seasons, to be clear.
Having said that, the alternatives are less-than attractive, at best.
A player like Ezekiel Ansah of Detroit figures to be among the top free-agent pass rushers available next offseason and even he has only seen double-digit sacks (14.5 in 2015) just once in his four-plus years in the league – this former BYU star has 3.0 sacks this season.
Or, the Dallas Cowboys could roll the dice on the draft, again, in trying to accomplish what amounts to adding one more Pro Bowl-caliber talent close to Irving, who before this season started was the best and most disruptive defensive lineman on the roster.
As for Taco Charlton, this year’s first-round pick of the Cowboys, I still don’t know that this former Michigan standout doesn’t end up playing more of an interior role on the defensive line. If not, what will his impact be rushing from the right side of the defensive line?
What we do know is this: Lawrence is a wrecking crew for a Dallas Cowboys team that’s already 2-2 on the season with Irving set to return in the biggest game of the season on Sunday against the Green Bay Packers. It’s looking like a big year for Lawrence and if I had to guess right now he lines up with the Cowboys next season as one of the top-paid defenders in the league.