FRISCO, Texas – This one sounds like a win-win for the Cowboys and DeMarcus Lawrence.
After weeks of speculation about Lawrence's long-term future, the Cowboys confirmed a new, three-year deal for their Pro Bowl pass rusher, keeping him in place for 2022 and beyond.
The deal is mutually beneficial for Lawrence, entering his ninth NFL season, as well as a Cowboys front office that was desperate for cap space. Lawrence is now under contract through the 2024 season, with $30 million in guarantees over the first two years of the deal.
More importantly for the Cowboys, it drops his 2022 cap number from $27 million to $14 million, providing plenty in the way of additional cap space.
That type of savings is exactly why there was speculation about Lawrence in the first place. Without much in the way of cap space and several key free agents to consider, the Cowboys floated the idea of releasing Lawrence to make room for others. Last week, reports surfaced the Cowboys went to D-Law about taking a pay cut and the defensive end declined.
Lawrence has not made a Pro Bowl or had a double-digit sack season since signing the new deal before the 2019 season. After recording 24.5 total sacks in 2017-2018 - his only two Pro Bowl seasons - Lawrence has just 14.5 sacks in three years. Injuries have been an issue for Lawrence, who missed 10 games this past season with a broken foot.
But instead of the Cowboys and Lawrence being at odds, they came together with a new deal that gives Tank guaranteed money, while the Cowboys have now freed up funds to secure some talent around him.
The Cowboys are expected to have 20 free agents when the free agency begins on Wednesday. The team is hopeful D-Law's new deal should allow them to re-sign teammates such as defensive end Randy Gregory, safety Malik Hooker and safety Jayron Kearse.