Dallas Cowboys: The truth behind the DeMarcus Lawrence trade rumors

ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 14: Demarcus Lawrence #90 of the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium on October 14, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 14: Demarcus Lawrence #90 of the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium on October 14, 2018 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

Deeply divided in their negotiations we assess whether or not the Dallas Cowboys are entertaining the idea of trading DeMarcus Lawrence.

DeMarcus Lawrence and the Dallas Cowboys are at an impasse in their long-term contract negotiations. After playing on franchise tag in 2018, Lawrence entered the 2019 offseason expecting a multi-year deal. Unable to come to an agreement prior to free agency, the front office slapped him with the franchise tag once again.

Tank was less than thrilled at the prospect of playing under the tag again and now threatens to sit out and delay much needed surgery (putting a Week 1 start in jeopardy). Not all too surprisingly, Cowboys Nation quickly erupted in response to Lawrence’s uncertain future, ushering in trade talk…

Topic of the Fans

Once it was learned the two sides (Tank and the Cowboys front office) where far apart in their contract negotiations, Cowboys Nation started to panic. Not only was Tank the Dallas Cowboys only legitimate pass-rusher, but he was arguably the defense’s best player and unofficial leader. Letting this issue linger would put his future in doubt and ultimately derail the entire season. I fully admit I joined in and even called for Dallas to OVERPAY the man now if it meant resolution.

And that sentiment right there is what prompted all of the trade talk currently circulating. It’s not DeMarcus Lawrence speaking out in demand of a trade. It’s not the Dallas Cowboys front office drawing the line in the sand in a take it or leave it way either. It’s a very anxious fan base and a Cowboys-rich 24-hour news cycle that suggests such things. This is a topic of the fans.

While no one can claim to know what really is being discussed behind the closed doors of The Star, we can discuss the legitimacy of this trade talk. And right now, there’s no legitimacy.

What’s Tank worth in a trade?

Another thing to consider is what Tank is even worth in the form of draft picks. Is he worth a 1st rounder? Maybe. But even that likely depends. There’s plenty of great pass-rushers in the draft and while all of them won’t be of Lawrence’s quality, many of them project quite well and come at a fraction of the cost.

It’s possible an on-the-cusp team at the back of the draft is willing to deal for Lawrence, but it’s far from a given many teams are interested in paying a first or even second for a guy wanting top-2 edge rusher money and may miss the start of the season if his surgery keeps getting delayed.

Everyone knows DeMarcus Larwence is worth more to the Dallas Cowboys than anyone else. As stated earlier, Tank is the defensive team leader. He’s the best overall player. He’s the best pass-rusher. Even if Dallas can somehow bring in Robert Quinn and save Randy Gregory from suspension, they probably can’t expect a postseason run without their Tank. So trading him seems highly unlikely based on expected compensation received AND value to the team.

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Is Tank really upset?

This is a question I essentially proposed a couple weeks ago in, “What the heck are the Dallas Cowboys doing?”. Do we really know Tank wants to get this resolved ASAP? Veterans hate mandatory offseason activities up to and including training camp. We see them find ways to avoid camp all the time in contract seasons.

What if Tank just doesn’t want to go through the full grind?

Think about it, if Tank can use this to delay surgery and get out of camp and avoid looking like the bad guy in the process, why wouldn’t he do it? It’s of my contention he’s planning to delay his surgery (and rehab) just long enough to miss most of camp.

The deadline for a long-term deal isn’t until July 15th so Tank will need to have his surgery beforehand in order to be ready for the season. But this is all about timing for him, and Jerry Jones knows it. That’s why the negotiations are at a standstill right now and that’s why neither Jerry (or Tank) seem overly worried. They both know how this is going to end.

dark. Next. Health is already an issue for the Cowboys this coming season

It’s understandable fans and media and going crazy on this unresolved Tank issue, but it’s likely we’re making a bigger deal out of this than it really is. The Dallas Cowboys need Tank to compete in 2019 so the chances of trading him away are pretty darn slim.

  • Published on 03/26/2019 at 12:59 PM
  • Last updated at 03/26/2019 at 15:27 PM