DeMarcus Lawrence Focused On Improvement, Not Contract Talks

FRISCO, Texas --Contract questions were bound to come for DeMarcus Lawrence at some point, but it's a great sign for the Cowboys that they've come so soon.

As an impending free agent, Lawrence is going to have to consider his future at some point. But considering he currently leads the league in sacks, with a whopping 8.5 through five games, people are a lot more curious than they might be otherwise.

It'll be an important conversation for the Cowboys and Lawrence to have, but the fourth-year defensive end said he's not sweating it just yet.

"We'll talk about that when the time comes. I ain't in a rush," he said. "I'm just going to keep racking up my numbers, and we've just got to get the job done as a team. If the team wins, we all win. That's the main thing."

He's not wrong. Free agency has a way of favoring players from successful teams -- as Barry Church and Terrell McClain can attest. And of course there's the possibility that Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones manages to keep Lawrence in a Cowboys uniform for the foreseeable future, whether it's with the franchise tag or a long-term contract.

Asked for a preference on his long-term future, Lawrence didn't take the bait.

"My preference is whatever Jerry tells me -- that's my preference," he said. "I'd love to be a Cowboy for the rest of my life. Like I said, that contract talk -- I ain't worried about that. I'm worrying about getting the job done and making sure we come out with a dub."

The Cowboys have been short on wins in recent weeks, to be sure. But you can hardly blame Lawrence or the Dallas pass rush -- which is a fairly surprising thing to say. Sacks have been hard to come by for this team for what seems like the last decade or so. But as it stands heading into Week 7, only six teams have more sacks than the Cowboys' 16.

Lawrence is obviously a huge part of that. He tore off three multi-sack games in a row to open the season, and he has yet to be held off the stat sheet. On the occasions that he has been held in check, his linemates have picked up the slack, as three other Dallas pass rushers -- Maliek Collins, Tyrone Crawford and David Irving -- currently have multiple sacks.

"I got a hell of a D-Line," Lawrence said. "They double-team me, then Maliek, Dino, Ty, Taco, Ben -- somebody going to get them. Then, they've got to look over there -- and now their ass is mine."

Of course, it isn't all as rosy as that makes it sound. The Cowboys are 22nd in the league in rush defense, giving up 118 yards per game. They're also in a five-way tie for 27th in the league in takeaways. Only the Atlanta Falcons have fewer takeaways than the Cowboys' four.

Even if the Cowboys aren't one of the best units in the league, a healthier turnover margin could help them tremendously. That's something Lawrence knows all too well.

"That's our main challenge while we're on the field -- to get the ball back for the offense," he said. "It's hard enough scoring, but we haven't stepped up to our full potential in getting that job done. Hopefully, we can go out there and prove it this week."

There's no time like the present. The 49ers are giving rookie quarterback C.J. Beathard his first start on Sunday, and their offensive line is allowing an average of three sacks per game. If the Cowboys can take advantage of that, it won't just be Lawrence sitting pretty -- but the whole defense.

"The challenge is us doing our job. That's the main thing -- it's on us," he said. "We can't worry about their schemes and what they're doing. Our keys tell us everything. If we run our system and do our job, everything will be taken care of."

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