Dallas Cowboys: 3 reasons DeMarcus Lawrence is worth OVERpaying

Demarcus Lawrence #90 of the Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Demarcus Lawrence #90 of the Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images) /

How the Dallas Cowboys handle DeMarcus Lawrence is so important, it’s worth it to OVERpay him now rather than let this situation drag on through the offseason

We don’t know how much money DeMarcus Lawrence is asking for in his next deal. What we know is that the figure is in a different ballpark than the offer the Dallas Cowboys last proposed. With negotiations at an early stalemate, the Dallas Cowboys felt they had no choice but to slap “Tank” Lawrence with the Franchise Tag for the second consecutive year.

Clearly upset with the situation, Team Tank now threatens to skip the offseason program, delay shoulder surgery, and even possibly sit out games. I’m here to argue, even if DeMarcus’ demands are ridiculously high, it’s worthwhile for the Cowboys to pony up the cash and lock their “War Daddy” up long-term even if it means they have to overpay. Here’s 3 reasons why…

1. Tank is a cornerstone player

The primary reason to sign Tank long-term is because he’s good. Really good. Over the past two seasons Tank has 29 tackles for loss, 49 QB hits, and 25 sacks to his name (which is more than even Khalil Mack).

No one will argue about calling him a top-5 edge player. And considering how well-rounded his game is, a solid case can be made he’s a top-3 guy (falling only behind Khalil Mack and Von Miller).

Some may point to Tank’s career sack numbers and try to say he’s only had one great sack season (2017) and one pretty good sack season (2018). But as many know, sacks are fickle beasts in nature – it’s tackles for loss and pressures that are the sustainable stats most accurately reflecting pass-rushing skill. And in those categories Tank is among the top in the league.

As Pro Football Focus pointed out (subscription required) in his free agent profile, Tank has at least one pressure in every game he’s played but one. And while his sack numbers dropped slightly last season, he maintained his pressures, logging 66 pressures on the season. That’s consistent performance.

2. The Dallas Cowboys are in need

The message this sends to players is that even you are a good soldier, and do everything we ask, we may still jerk you around.

What must also be considered it how important DeMarcus Lawrence is to this team. No pass-rusher remotely approaches the production of Lawrence. The only player on the Dallas Cowboys who even has War Daddy potential (double-digit sacks) is Randy Gregory and he’s looking an indefinite suspension in the face this coming season.

I’m admittedly high on Dorance Armstrong, but even me, one of his biggest supporters, isn’t expecting a starting role for him in Year 2. If Tank sits out mini-camps and delays his shoulder surgery, he stands to miss the start of the season. And when he does finally hit the field, he’ll be less than 100%.

That means, if this situation isn’t resolved before the draft, the Dallas Cowboys pass-rush will most assuredly suffer in 2019. That can’t happen if this team expects to make the postseason.

light. Must Read. Why we should be excited for Dornace Armstrong in 2019

3. It sets a valuable precedent

When given the Franchise Tag last offseason, DeMarcus Lawrence reacted exactly how you want someone to respond: With a , “challenge accepted”. Tank said he was going to prove 2017 was no fluke and he was going to earn his multi-year deal in 2019 through hard work, a fighter’s attitude, and statistical success.

Well, here we are in 2019 – Tank did his part – it’s time for the Dallas Cowboys to do their part. The message this sends to players is that even you are a good soldier, and do everything we ask, we may still jerk you around.

Don’t think Lawrence’s teammates aren’t taking notice of how the front office is handling this.

If the front office were to resolve this issue and come to an agreement with Tank, they can point to this situation when negotiating with players in the future. The front office will have proof that they’ll make good on their end as long players do their part.

That may not sound like a big deal right now, but with Dak Prescott, Amari Cooper, Jaylon Smith, and Ezekiel Elliott all looking for new deals in the next 12-months, a good track record could go a long way in building trust.

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OVERpay the man

I’m not saying to throw $30 million per season at DeMarcus Lawrence (Aaron Rodgers money), but I am saying they shouldn’t hesitate to put him in the Khalil Mack and Aaron Donald ballpark (which by all accounts is overpaying). He may not be quite as good as those guys, but he’s arguably more important to his respective team, and as a team leader, he’s a major influencer throughout the roster.

The Dallas Cowboys shouldn’t treat this like the typical negotiation because there is nothing typical about this player or the impact he has on the franchise.

Next. Dallas Cowboys Complete Mock Draft: Post Combine Edition. dark

Overpaying DeMarcus Lawrence now may cost the Dallas Cowboys more money, but delaying this situation is by far the more costly course of action.

  • Published on 03/11/2019 at 12:00 PM
  • Last updated at 03/10/2019 at 12:25 PM