Dallas Cowboys: DeMarcus Lawrence is standing up and standing out

Demarcus Lawrence #90 of the Dallas Cowboys . (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
Demarcus Lawrence #90 of the Dallas Cowboys . (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images) /

Don’t look now but DeMarcus Lawrence is standing up in the Dallas Cowboys new-look defense

It may not seem like a big thing but the Dallas Cowboys have shown something we haven’t seen in a while in practiced – defensive ends standing up on the line. This doesn’t mean the Cowboys will use a 3-4 defense strictly, but it does mean that there will be disguised attack and a focus on pressure that hasn’t really been seen around these parts in a while. DeMarcus Lawrence could easily be the biggest benefactor of this small change.

While it may not seem like something that would make a difference, standing up on the edge holds some benefits over always playing with your hand in the dirt. The first step can go in any direction to start. No longer does the first step have to go forward or will there be a delay in standing up and then moving in a direction. Simple body mechanics dictate a lot more when you are in a three-point stance than when you are not.

One interesting thing, however, is that Lawrence is using his outside foot forward. Again, this may not seem big, but it is probably because he is used to having that foot forward in the three-point stance. As the season goes on it will be something to watch on how Lawrence keeps or switches his footwork.

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The ability for the ends to stand up allow for them to drop into coverage if needed, or to burst off the line and rush the passer. However, they can also fall into the flats, hold the edge, and get into twists or stunts (pass rushing plays across defensive lines), all while keeping a 4-3 look. They can also move players around on the line to allow them to stand up or move linebackers down into edge positions.

The Dallas Cowboys look set on using a hybrid look on defense and it starts with the defensive ends standing up on the line. They will probably “hide” coverage assignments on the back end as well, but it will all start up front and keep offenses guessing.

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If the Cowboys can stop the runs up the middle and let the ends and linebackers have free runs to the quarterback, this defense could turn heads early in the season.

  • Published on 08/25/2020 at 12:30 PM
  • Last updated at 08/25/2020 at 07:25 AM