Last week during the Dallas Cowboys‘ OTAs, eight-year veteran DeMarcus Lawrence showed up with a new look and new goals. He wanted to show his maturity by cutting off the dreadlocks he’s been growing since his rookie year in 2014. He also wanted to make it clear that his ninth year in the league will not be any slower or less productive.
In fact, Lawrence plans to be more productive than he has been since his last Pro Bowl nod in 2018. The defensive end told reporters that he wants to be the Cowboys’ sack leader again in 2022.
While Lawrence is undoubtedly a top-tier defender in the NFL, sacks are a stat he has struggled with as of late. Although he is a force to be reckoned with on the Dallas defense, the only times he surpassed 10 sacks were in 2017 and 2018.
He plans on that changing in 2022. The 30-year-old joked that he wasn’t happy with the fact that a rookie upstaged him in defensive stats. That rookie, of course, is Micah Parsons who had an impressive 13.0 sacks in 2021. Lawrence told reporters he plans to win that category this upcoming season despite the fact that he has only led the team once in sacks in the last three years. This year, Lawrence is ready to demand respect on the field and assert his dominance against quarterbacks once again.
Cowboys LB Micah Parsons and DE DeMarcus Lawrence are in a friendly battle to lead the teamee in sacks
Anyone that’s heard Parsons speak or seen him play since entering the NFL knows the young defender is wildly competitive. So when the press asked the linebacker how he felt about Lawrence’s goal, Parsons was excited about the competition.
The Penn State product told reporters that a bit of competitiveness is healthy for the locker room. But, he also said that if Lawrence wants to try to get back to 10.0 sacks, he will simply have to get 20 to beat him out. This type of environment where guys push each other to be their best is exactly what you want out of your football team. If the two continue to go head to head over the numbers, the stats will only increase.
For what it’s worth, 20 sacks is a big feat. It’s only happened 13 times in league history. Former cowboy DeMarcus Ware did it back in 2008 and that still remains the franchise record to this day. It will certainly be tough for the 30-year-old to beat out a 23-year-old. However, Lawrence said this offseason has been one of the most serious he’s ever had. He’s been eating healthy and doing rigorous workouts to keep his body in tip-top shape.
At the end of the day, though, Parsons isn’t backing down:
“I’m sorry to tell him he’s never getting that back,” Parsons said.