Dallas Cowboys: Has DeMarcus Lawrence overplayed his hand?

DeMarcus Lawrence, Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
DeMarcus Lawrence, Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images) /

The Dallas Cowboys are still working towards a long-term deal with DeMarcus Lawrence. But has his representatives put him on the wrong side of negotiations.

Over the past few weeks, we’ve been hearing that the Dallas Cowboys and star defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence were going to be able to work out a new long-term deal. Well, that time has come and gone, now we are learning that both sides have dug in for the foreseeable future. So how did we get to this point?

The sticking point is likely the amount of guaranteed money Lawrence wants. He appears to want to be paid like Los Angeles Rams All-Pro defensive tackle Aaron Donald. Donald signed a six-year, $135 million extension last August that included $87 million guaranteed.

Well, there are two problems with Lawrence and his agent David Canter’s strategy. First, while DeMarcus is certainly very talented, he isn’t on Donald’s level. And second, Lawrence is currently injured and needs shoulder surgery.

Now that the Cowboys have traded for defensive end Robert Quinn, I believe Canter has lost all of his bargaining chips. The organization has now covered themselves in the event of a Lawrence hold out. They have also set themselves up to take a defensive end in the second round after the rest of the free agent signings made.

Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones can now play hardball with Lawrence’s representatives as their options seems to be dwindling. I believe they should take the Cowboys current deal, which is rumored to be an average of $20 million a year. If not, Lawrence could roll the dice and see if Dallas would actually release him. Then he’d have to hope another team is willing to pay that much money to an injured pass rusher that values his contract over having a surgery that could delay his debut in 2019.

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Odds do not appear to be in DeMarcus Lawrence’s favor right now. And I believe his camp needs to do what’s in the best interest of their client and instead of prioritizing a big payday.