Dallas Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence has been a longstanding figure on this defense. However, many NFL analysts don’t consider him to be a top player because of his sack numbers.
On a defense with names like Micah Parsons, Trevon Diggs, and several others, it’s easy for the 30-year-old not to be the first name people think of. However, that should in no way take away from his ability to stress out quarterbacks and cause chaos. But some people only care about numbers.
In Lawrence’s two Pro Bowl seasons (2017, 2018), he had 14.5 and 10.5 sacks. Since then, he hasn’t reached above 6.5 sacks in a season. To be fair, injuries have been a part of the stat issues, but people still don’t consider him a top defensive end because of his numbers.
Heading into the 2022 season, the veteran was very clear about his goals. He lost weight, took training more seriously, and was ready to lead this team mentally and statistically. During OTAs, Lawrence told press members that he wanted to lead the team in sacks this season. He even posed a friendly competition with Parsons.
So far, Lawrence has not disappointed. Through Week 3, the veteran has 17 tackles, four tackles for loss, and three QB hits with his biggest performance coming against the Giants. On Monday night, he had three sacks and seven pressures, which meant he tied his sack total for 2020 in one single game.
Cowboys DE DeMarcus Lawrence isn’t getting the respect he deserves after an excellent start to 2022
If analysts want numbers, the numbers are there. After people scoffed at Lawrence for thinking he could beat Parsons in a sack competition, the ninth-year player is just one behind the dominant rookie. Yet, Lawrence still isn’t getting the recognition and respect he deserves for a 30-year-old defender still making a huge impact on his team.
This week, Brandon Graham was given NFC Defensive Player of the Week even though Lawrence had more sacks, more tackles for loss, and the same number of tackles.
This also doesn’t even mention the fact that Lawrence got hurt in the third quarter. The DE left the game early in the third with a foot injury but managed to return to the game in the fourth quarter. That means he achieved these stats in far less time than Graham had. How is that not worthy of more recognition?
While Parsons was getting double and triple coverage, Lawrence was getting the job done. Analysts and teams need to realize that this 30-year-old isn’t a worn-out player. He’s playing some of his best football in his ninth season.