FRISCO, Texas – Monday afternoon, the Cowboys placed the franchise tag on DeMarcus Lawrence before Tuesday’s deadline to issue the one-year guaranteed tender.
Hours later, Lawrence’s agent announced on Twitter that the Pro Bowl pass rusher has signed the tender, which is worth $17.143 million, according to NFL.com.
That’s a much quicker timeline than the last time the Cowboys franchised a player. Wide receiver Dez Bryant didn’t agree to sign his franchise tender in 2015, and after a four-month stalemate the two sides finally agreed to a long-term contract just before the league’s mid-July deadline.
For Lawrence, the ultimate goal is the same. The Cowboys have expressed their intent is to reach a long-term deal with Lawrence this offseason, and the franchise tag buys more time to negotiate before the next deadline on July 16.
If a deal isn’t completed by then, Lawrence will play out the 2018 season on the tag.
Lawrence, 25, was scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent 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.
After a back injury limited him to nine games in 2016, Lawrence started all 16 games in 2017 and made second-team AP All-Pro.
Last year’s one-year franchise salary for defensive ends was $16.9 million. NFL.com reported Monday that the 2018 salary for franchised defense ends will be $17.143 million.
“I'm satisfied at where the numbers are,” Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones said last Saturday at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis. “Both Lawrence and the Cowboys are getting value here. I see it both ways. But it's an acceptable value for the Cowboys as well to be able to do the one-year deal.”