If the Dallas Cowboys manage to let DeMarcus Lawrence slip through their fingers the offseason will be all for not. The team would no longer be a contender.
So far, the 2019 season has been filled with ups and downs for the Dallas Cowboys. In one week, Dallas looks like one of the deepest rosters in the league. And the next week they look like a team bound for an 8-8 season.
As of now, there is no way to tell whether or not the Cowboys will be real contenders. It all hinges on defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence‘s future with America’s Team. If he is extended and plays, the defense will haunt opposing quarterbacks’ dreams. They will have a top tier pass rush with Lawrence and newly acquired defensive end, Robert Quinn.
On the other hand, if Lawrence walks or even gets traded for a first-round draft pick, say goodbye to any Superbowl hopes this year. The Hotboyz will be no more. All of Cowboys Nation witnessed a time without a dominant pass rusher. After former outside linebacker DeMarcus Ware left to join the Denver Broncos, the defense became one of the worst in the league.
It is rather simple: If a defense can’t put the pressure on the quarterback, the quarterback will put pressure on the defense. The Cowboys have put together a really good roster.
On offense they have an above average quarterback who is a great leader of men, a young star wide receiver, the best running back in the league and an offensive line that is filled with talent. On defense, they have two stud linebackers, a lockdown cornerback, and a new pass rusher in Quinn.
But without having that one guy on the defensive line that puts fear in the heart of the quarterback and swallows up rush lanes, it’s all for not.
Lawrence has proven to be the leader of the defense. In 2018, he played on the franchise tag with a smile on his faith believing that if he was successful once again, the team would reward him with a long-term contract.
The Cowboys have sabotaged themselves in negotiations. They should not be playing cat and mouse with Lawrence. However, for some reason, the front office insists on hard balling the pass rusher.
Of course, they should be seeking the best offer. But once you insult the other person in negotiations by offering very little to what he actually deserves, the other person naturally gets offended and wants even more.
According to Clarence Hill Jr., early in the process Lawrence would except $20.5 million. After Dallas offered $17 million, Lawrence decided he wants more than the original price.
Instead at being mad at Lawrence for trying to get what he deserves, direct your anger towards the front office. Jerry (owner/general manager) and Stephen Jones (executive vice president) have taken the approach to not be big players in free agency, draft well, and resign their own.
But in this case with Lawrence, they are hesitant. Lawrence has an injury history. But the past few years have shown that even if he is not 100 percent healthy, Lawrence is still a top-five edge defender.
So if they decide to let Lawrence test free agency, what type of message would that send to the rest of the team? If a dominant defensive end who is a leader of the locker room and does everything the team wants of him is just tossed out, then why have any loyalty to the Joneses?
The Cowboys need to extend Lawrence now. Without Lawrence, a ripple effect could spread across the players that damage all relationships.
The foundation of a team is trust and accountability. A player should be willing to run through a wall for his organization. In a competitive league, where the difference between losing and winning is so narrow, what separates a championship team from an embarrassing team is the locker room.
DeMarcus Lawrence must get paid for the Dallas Cowboys to have any chance in 2019.