FRISCO, Texas – It's been expected that DeMarcus Lawrence will make his 2016 debut on Sunday against Cincinnati, but now he is officially able to.
The Cowboys added Lawrence to their active roster on Saturday afternoon, making him eligible to play this weekend. Lawrence had been given a one-week exemption from the league, which allowed him to practice without being on the roster – but he needed to be moved to the 53-man roster before he could play in a game.
Lawrence takes the roster spot vacated by La'el Collins, who was moved to injured reserve this week after undergoing a successful surgery on his injured toe.
With Lawrence back in the lineup, the Cowboys now have their most accomplished pass rusher on the field with them. The third-year defensive end has 10 career sacks, highlighted by a hot stretch that saw him post seven sacks in the final eight games of the 2015 season.
Lawrence also posted two sacks in the playoffs during his rookie season – most famously, a strip-sack of Matt Stafford that helped the Cowboys secure a win against Detroit in the wildcard round.
Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said throughout the week that the coaching staff would monitor Lawrence's workload, given that he's been away from football for a month. But team owner/general manager Jerry Jones said Friday that he expects Lawrence to play a role against the Bengals.
"He is ready. He had a good week," Jones said. "We'll see him in the rotation and see him most assuredly on passing downs when we're on defense and it's passing downs for the offense."