3 worst contracts on the Dallas Cowboys’ 2022 roster

DeMarcus Lawrence, Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images)
DeMarcus Lawrence, Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Jennifer Stewart/Getty Images) /
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Dallas Cowboys
Dec 26, 2021; Arlington, Texas, USA; Dallas Cowboys defensive end Demarcus Lawrence (90) in action during the game between the Washington Football Team and the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /

2. DeMarcus Lawrence, EDGE

In 2014, the Cowboys traded their second and third-round picks in the NFL Draft to move up to No. 34 overall. That’s where they selected Boise State pass rusher DeMarcus Lawrence, who was being asked to do something impossible by replacing DeMarcus Ware.

Lawrence had a slow start due to injuries, recording just nine tackles and no sacks as a rookie, but he came up huge in their playoff win over the Detroit Lions that season. He followed that up with eight sacks in year two but had only one in 2016.

Then in 2017, Lawrence finally broke out. In a contract season, he had 14.5 sacks for the Cowboys and was hit with the franchise tag for his troubles. While playing under the tag, he was able to rack up 10.5 more sacks, which finally convinced the Cowboys to give him a long-term deal.

Lawrence signed for $105 million over the next five seasons. Since signing the deal, he has just 14.5 sacks in three seasons. Despite that fact, he was given another extension worth $40 million over three seasons.

While it’s true Lawrence is a great run-stopper and a disruptive pass-rusher, he doesn’t get home nearly enough to make the money he does. His defenders will say that there’s more to his game than stats, and while this is true, the elite players (T.J. Watt, Von Miller, Myles Garrett) find a way to get home.

Lawrence is being paid similar to those players, but not making near the impact they are — except for the two years when he needed a new deal.