Dallas Cowboys: DeMarcus Lawrence needs to step up his game

The Dallas Cowboys defense was not good last season, but the improvement of the defense starts and ends with DeMarcus Lawrence.

The Dallas Cowboys of 2019 will go down as one of the most disappointing teams in franchise history. Heck, it might go down as one of the most disappointing teams in the history of the NFL- considering it was on of the favorites to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl.

The disappointment stems from the Cowboys being an ultra-talented on both sides of the ball. The offensive line boasted three Pro Bowlers in Tyron Smith, Travis Frederick, and Zack Martin. La’el Collins performed on a Pro Bowl level, and actually played better than his teammates.

Dak Prescott was having one of his best seasons yet as a franchise quarterback, Ezekiel Elliott played like the Pro Bowler he is, and the wide receiving corps of Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup, Randall Cobb, and Tavon Austin was one of the best in the league.

The defense was supposed to be a top-10 unit because it had DeMarcus Lawrence, Tyrone Crawford, Maliek Collins, Robert Quinn, Jaylon Smith, Leighton Vander Esch, Byron Jones, Xavier Woods, Jourdan Lewis, and a few others.

As we all witnessed, the Cowboys Super Bowl hopes went up in flames like that fat hog on your Uncle Willis’s grill as it went 8-8. Although the Cowboys had their share of offensive woes, it was the Cowboys  defense that didn’t live up to their own lofty expectations.

And since the defense didn’t live up to the hype, one person stood out more than the others because of a lack of production. And that person is no other than the “War Daddy” himself, DeMarcus Lawrence.

In order for Dallas’ defense to get back to a top-10 defensive unit, Tank needs to step up his game and play like the Pro Bowler we know him to be. Last season Tank was no where to be found. Granted, Tank did have offseason shoulder surgery, but what happened to the  “War Daddy” that  tallied 25 sacks from 2017-18 with two Pro Bowl bids to boot?

To put it bluntly, Tank did not play like the dominant pass rusher we’ve witnessed over the past two years. Big Tank was bringing the pain on opposing quarterbacks and played like a man that deserved a lucrative contract (he signed a five-year deal worth $105 million with $65 million guaranteed). Tank finished the 2019 season in disappointing fashion with a measly five sacks.

Tank did record 30 solo tackles, 15 assist, 10 TFL (tackles for a loss), and 16 QB hits, but even that’s down from the previous season. Maybe its the offseason shoulder surgery. 

In 2018, Tank tallied 10.5 sacks, 64 combined tackles, 42 solo tackles, 22 assist, 15 TFL, 23 QB hits. No disrespect, but his teammate Robert Quinn lead the team with 11.5 sacks, 34 combined tackles, 26 solo tackles, 13 TFL, and credited with 22 quarterback hits, 37 quarterback pressures. and  played better than Tank.

Word on the street is Dallas is eager to keep Quinn rather than cornerback Byron Jones. Yep, that’s the rumor.

With Quinn’s dominating performance, one would think that Tank could take advantage of not being double-teamed and record more sacks, but that didn’t happen. When watching film, Tank lost a lot of one-on-one battles.

In comparison, Quinn served a two-game suspension  to start the season for using PEDs and dealt with a back problem as well, but Quinn still out performed the $105 million “War Daddy” in Big Tank.

That’s not supposed to happen at all. Sure, Quinn was supposed to have a bounce back season because Tank was requiring double teams and Quinn took advantage of the opportunity. However, that wasn’t the case at all. FYI, I’m a big Tank fan, but I’m just being objective and calling a spade a spade.

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Tank has to get back to an All Pro level in order for Dallas to become one of the best teams in the league and make a push to the Super Bowl. Having a high-flying offense means nothing if the defense can’t stop the opposing offense- while its best pass rusher can’t even remotely get to the quarterback. I wrote an article explaining how Dallas’ defense made below average quarterbacks look good.

Tank is Dallas’ best pass rusher and the defense begins and ends with his skill set and leadership. And once you get paid as a star, you have to play like, too. BOOM!

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