MOBILE, Ala. – DeMarcus Lawrence is the latest Cowboy player to undergo offseason surgery, Cowboys coach Jason Garrett confirmed Saturday.
Lawrence underwent a procedure on his back for an injury that had nagged him during the course of the 2015 season – though it clearly didn't prevent him from performing, as he led the Dallas defense with eight sacks.
"It was something that bothered him for a lot of the year," Garrett said. "He obviously played through it, but he was dealing with it a little bit."
That's not out of the ordinary for players coming off a rigorous season. Tyrone Crawford underwent surgery on a torn rotator cuff the week after the regular season ended, and Tony Romo is currently mulling a surgery to have a plate attached to his injured left collarbone.
Garrett didn't want to set a fixed timetable on Lawrence's recovery, but he didn't seem concerned that it would hold the 23-year-old defensive end out for long.
"We expect him to be back fairly soon," Garrett said. "We'll see. We don't want to put it definitively, but we think he's going to be OK."
Lawrence himself took to Twitter on Jan. 28 with an optimistic message for his 41,000 followers.
The Aiken, S.C., native enjoyed a breakout effort during the second half of the past season. Drafted No. 34 overall in 2014, he was one of the few bright spots in a 4-12 campaign. Eight games into his second season, he had recorded 26 tackles and just one sack. Through the next eight games, he tore off 29 more tackles and a whopping seven sacks. He also finished the season second on the team in quarterback pressures, with 31 on the year.
That was the type of production the Cowboys were expecting when they traded up 13 spots in the second round to select Lawrence two years ago. He suffered a broken foot during his rookie training camp that severely limited his debut season – though he finished on a strong note. He recorded two sacks during the Cowboys' playoff run last year, including a game-winner against the Detroit Lions.
The Cowboys are undoubtedly hoping for a speedy recovery for their young pass rusher. Lawrence is currently the only defensive end under contract to have logged a career sack, as rookies Randy Gregory, Ryan Russell and Efe Obada are the other options.
Veteran pass rushers Greg Hardy, Jeremy Mincey and Jack Crawford are all set to enter free agency at the start of the league year in March.