Dallas Cowboys: Predicting DeMarcus Lawrence sack totals for 2018

ATLANTA, GA - NOVEMBER 12: DeMarcus Lawrence #90 of the Dallas Cowboys . (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images)
ATLANTA, GA - NOVEMBER 12: DeMarcus Lawrence #90 of the Dallas Cowboys . (Photo by Scott Cunningham/Getty Images) /

The Dallas Cowboys should be looking to extend DeMarcus Lawrence as soon as possible. Expect something to happen prior to the start of the preseason.

The Dallas Cowboys will be looking to re-sign star defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence at some point during the next few weeks. His contract should be the next big thing that gets handled by the Cowboys front office. So what is his next deal dependent on, and just how much production will Dallas get for their money? Let’s take a look at the situation.

Lawrence is coming off his best season as a pro finishing second in the NFL in sacks. This was not only impressive but historic, as he was one of the few (only) Dallas Cowboys since DeMarcus Ware to finish a season with double-digit sack totals. We are already aware that health played a factor as Lawrence seemed to be the healthiest he has been since joining the roster.

He was not plagued by suspensions or any other distractions, Lawrence was on the ball for the 2017 season. Can his teammates receive some credit for his work along the defensive line, sure, but a large part of this is just on Lawrence perfecting his hand fighting and block shedding.

There is a reason he finished so high on the NFL Top 100, players have seen a change in his game and so have the Cowboys. In fact, Lawrence is currently the highest paid player on the roster according to his base salary of $17,143,000.

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The Dallas Cowboys were prepared to place the franchise tag on him and they knew what that would cost at the time, so clearly, the front office thinks he is worth the money. Apparently, Lawrence is looking for a five-year deal that will likely make him one of the highest paid defensive ends in the league.

Another factor to look at would be just how much a new contract would provide Dallas with some serious cap space. Currently, they have around $7 million plus, a long-term extension with Lawrence could provide them with some serious cash, and maybe even enough to swing a trade for Earl Thomas

The Dallas Cowboys best pass rusher has always stated that he is not worried about his contract and feels that it will get done eventually. That notion has not changed and Lawrence still remains as committed to the franchise as ever.

The Cowboys, on the other hand, need to make a decision. Do they believe Lawrence can stay on the field for a full 16 games? Do they believe he has another (several) double-digit sack performance in him? Could this defense live without him? All valid questions and all with varying answers.

The Cowboys defense has not looked this promising since their Super Bowl days and a lot of time and money went into putting this unit together. So realistically it makes no sense to not bring back a player who has been a pivotal piece of the equation. That plus the ability to free up some cap space should be enough to get a deal done before the end of training camp.

Next: Dallas Cowboys: Earl Thomas trade talks heating up

As always, these things take time, however, the front office should be encouraged to complete any and all major moves prior to the beginning of the preseason.