Shocking News! The Dallas Cowboys did something right!

(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
(Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images) /

In what is perhaps the most shocking news of the week, Stephen Jones and the Dallas Cowboys did something smart. For as insulting as that statement reads, the intent truly is to compliment the efforts of the front office and award praise where praise is due.

On the heels of trading star WR Amari Cooper to Cleveland for what amounts to a bag of skittles and a used washing machine, the Stephen Jones did something, that I’m sure Harry and Lloyd would say “TOTALLY REDEEMED THEMSELVES.” They locked up DeMarcus Lawrence.

With a $27 million cap charge heading into the upcoming season, there was significant speculation floating around (oh, I don’t know why, maybe because Stephen Jones said as much…) that DeMarcus Lawrence (aka “Tank”) was destined to be a cap causality if he didn’t take a pay cut.

But after Tank rebuked requests to do so, Stephen Jones opted for a little creativity and flexibility and kept the leader of the Dallas Cowboys defense – on the Dallas Cowboys defense.

The Dallas Cowboys, realizing how important Tank is this defensive front, resisted the urge to punish Lawrence for his 2021 season, and instead bet on the 29-year-old’s future.

DeMarcus Lawrence may never live up to the expectations of some, but his importance on the Dallas Cowboys is enormous.

Throughout his career, Lawrence has been a key playmaker for Dallas. While his sack totals have not approached his 2017 levels, his double-team rate, pressure rate, and tackles for loss have remained dominant. There’s a reason everyone around the NFL who watches and grades film adores Lawrence. He’s really freakin good.

He’s so good, Stephen Jones gave him a shiny new contract that will essentially make him a Cowboy for life. Let’s keep in mind, Stephen Jones rarely does stuff like that.

With DeMarcus Lawrence remaining in Dallas, the 2022 season doesn’t look like a total wash (ask me again, though, when Jones cuts La’el Collins). Keeping the front-4 dominant is key for this Dan Quinn defense and it’s a growing NFL trend as well.

Dak Prescott knows as good as anyone, it’s hard to beat a defense that drops seven players in coverage and still finds a way to get quick pressure with four pass-rushers. We saw that defensive strategy torment Dak, Patrick Mahomes, Aaron Rodgers, and others, throughout the 2021 postseason. It’s not going away anytime soon and depending what the Cowboys do this offseason, positions Dallas to be dominant up front.

What’s crazy is these moves free up considerable funds for 2022 and now (with the loss of Cooper) gives the Cowboys some of the most cap room in the entire NFL. It’s almost like the salary cap isn’t real, huh?

It didn’t stop there. just hours ago we heard the Dallas Cowboys came to terms with former first round pick Malik Hooker. Hooker was playing the best ball of his career late last season and his modest signing doesn’t preclude Dallas from also locking up Jayron Kearse, should the opportunity present itself.

These are the kinds of move that deserves praise because it shows that the 2022 season matters a little to the Dallas Cowboys front office and this season is more than just a salary dump and reload for the upcoming Sean Payton era.

At the least, it gives Micah Parsons a  viable running mate on the pass-rush. Teams can’t gratuitously double-team Parsons if Tank is also on the field, and with any luck we can add a dominant 2-gap player and another pass-rusher (now that Randy Gregory is in Denver) to the mix as well.

Will DeMarcus Lawrence put up a double-digit sack season in 2022? Who knows and frankly, who cares? Tank plays a vital role on this team and by subtracting him from the Cowboys, Quinn’s defense would take a massive step back.

This preserves the defense somewhat and shows the Dallas Cowboys are willing to pony up in order to win. It shows Stephen Jones isn’t obsessed with always winning his own personnel contract battles with players and has at least some value for winning games. It’s good news in an offseason littered with bad news and for that, I salute thee.

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What are your thoughts on the matter?

*Edited to reflect Randy Gregory’s ever changing news.

  • Published on 03/15/2022 at 15:30 PM
  • Last updated at 03/15/2022 at 17:01 PM