Dallas Cowboys: Why we’re overreacting to DeMarcus Lawrence situation

CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 06: Dallas Cowboy fans cheer before the game against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium on November 6, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 06: Dallas Cowboy fans cheer before the game against the Cleveland Browns at FirstEnergy Stadium on November 6, 2016 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images) /

In what has been described as an ‘impasse’ in negotiations, Dallas Cowboys fans have grown panic-stricken over the uncertain future of DeMarcus Lawrence

It wasn’t supposed to go down like this. After DeMarcus Lawrence produced at an elite level for the second consecutive season, the Dallas Cowboys and he were supposed to come to a fairly straight-forward long-term deal.

Yet, we find ourselves in a situation that’s anything but straight-forward and the stalemate between player and team now threatens to undermine the Dallas Cowboys 2019 NFL season. The response by many in Cowboys Nation hovers somewhere between outrage and disgust, with a  sizeable portion ready to trade away the defense’s most important player.

Allegedly reneging on parameters that would have averaged $20 million per season, Team Tank is said to now be asking for a deal approaching $22.5 million annually. While it’s never nice to up the ante after mid-negotiation, it’s not preposterous given the market.

Elite pass-rushers are making bank these days and by all measures Tank Lawrence is elite. His tackles for loss, QB hits, sacks, and EPA all meet or exceed Khalil Mack and Von Miller’s (the league’s preeminent edge players). It’s not really very shocking that Lawrence expects to be paid at or above them. With Mack making $23.5 million per season, Lawrence’s demands are actually perfectly reasonable.

Yet, some are calling this a betrayal. They’re calling him greedy. They say 22.5 million is “QB money”. I got news for you, $22.5 ain’t QB money. Maybe in 2016 but here in 2019, that annual amount isn’t going to get deal done for a QB1. Money goes up every year that’s why it’s never a good idea to kick the can on a new deal another year if you know what you want to do this year. That’s also why I wrote this last week about the need to address Amari Cooper’s next contract RIGHT NOW:

Must Read. Why Amari Cooper's next deal should take precedence over everyone else. light

The thing is, we’re making waaaay too big of a deal about this. It’s March. The two sides are supposed to be at an “impasse” this time of year. Yes, D-Law is delaying his surgery so we don’t have the luxury (luxury?) of waiting until the July 15 deadline, but there’s still plenty of time to negotiate.

I’ve been suggesting the idea for a while: DeMarcus might not want a deal done right now. He’s likely in no hurry to take part in the offseason program and probably wants to time this entire situation to miss most of it (including a portion of training camp).

While the talks may have stalled, the sides only appear to be 12.5% apart in annual compensation. That’s $2.5 million. Do you know who makes $2.5 million annually on the Dallas Cowboys? Christian Covington makes that. It’s the amount given to role players. It’s peanuts, really.

More from Dallas Cowboys

Sure, it adds up. And the larger guaranteed amount makes it riskier as well. But in a season that’s by all accounts, win-now, this delta isn’t as tenuous as it seems.

Stephen Jones specifically said he’s “optimistic” and that he’s “not going to draw any lines in the sand”, making all this trade talk completely premature. The Dallas Cowboys know how important Tank is to this team both on the field and in the locker room. Tank knows it too. Both sides want a deal and the gap between them isn’t unbridgeable. It just takes time.

Next. Draft Profiles: Top 10 edge rushers and their fit on the Cowboys. dark

Stop with all the trade talk. The Dallas Cowboys wouldn’t get good value if they traded Tank anyways, so it makes little sense to send him packing given the expectations on the season. The Cowboys aren’t worried and neither should we. If we’re still waiting in June? Then we can flip the heck out.

  • Published on 03/28/2019 at 12:59 PM
  • Last updated at 03/28/2019 at 13:43 PM