DeMarcus Lawrence Not Sweating Free Agency Future; Cowboys Weigh In

DeMarcus Lawrence spent last week in Orlando, Fla., enjoying his first Pro Bowl appearance with Cowboys teammates Jason Witten and Travis Frederick.

He wasn't thinking about the most important offseason of his four-year NFL career.

The 25-year-old defensive end is currently scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent in March after tying for second in the NFL in sacks (14.5) – the highest total by a Cowboys player since DeMarcus Ware's 15.5 in 2010.

"I really don't think about it all," Lawrence said from Orlando. "That's my agent's responsibility. That's why I hired him. So I'm going to let him do his job.

"I know my agent is going to do the best job possible for me. I really don't think about it. I just let him handle that. He knows what I want, so he'll get it done."

After a back injury limited him to nine games in 2016, Lawrence – the team's second-round pick in 2014 – started all 16 games in 2017 and made second-team AP All-Pro.

Speaking at the Senior Bowl last week, Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones told reporters that the team would like to get a long-term contract done with Lawrence, and the franchise tag is a backup option.

Wide receiver Dez Bryant (2015) is the last Cowboys player to receive the franchise tag, a one-year guaranteed offer. The Cowboys eventually reached a long-term deal with Bryant in mid-July, just before the negotiating deadline.

Last year's one-year franchise tag salary for defensive ends was $16.9 million.

The Cowboys are likely to employ a similar free agency strategy to past years – more opportunistic than heavy-spending. The first focus is retaining their own starters, such as Lawrence, over spending on the open market.

"Right now we're fortunate to have some really solid football players, great football players. Our goals are to keep our players," Jones said. "And when you start to look at DeMarcus Lawrence and you look at Zack Martin and then you look at a guy like Anthony Hitchens and David Irving, that's a handful just to keep your own — much less go shopping for something else. We just really need to focus on this draft, do well in the draft, and then work the edges and work the opportunities we may see come our way that would improve our football team."

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.
Advertising