IRVING, Texas - Three games into the regular season, defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence decided to change his mindset.
Held without a sack heading into the fourth game, Lawrence told himself to stop focusing as much on getting sacks, and worry more about the details of the pass rush.
"I felt like I was tensed up, worrying about 'Dang, I've got to get to the quarterback.' Or I have to get a sack," Lawrence said. "Instead of just 'Do your job and just let it go.' It was the New Orleans game. I just stopped thinking about sacking the quarterback and worked on my rushes."
So without focusing as much on getting a sack, Lawrence naturally, recorded his first sack of the season against the Saints.
Here lately, it seems Lawrence must never be thinking about sacks because that's about all he's doing.
In the last seven games, Lawrence has seven sacks, including a streak of four straight games with at least one, the longest by any Cowboys player since DeMarcus Ware. Not only does Lawrence want to keep his streak going, but he wouldn't mind collecting two sacks this Sunday against Washington, to push his season total to 10.
"I want more than two actually," said Lawrence, who credits this late-season success to his work before the season began. "Really, it was the offseason. Working out, working on my first step really helped me, and my hand speed. I just go out and play as fast and as physical as I can. Some people slow down, some people get better. That's happening for me."[embeddedad0]
Not only does Lawrence lead the team in sacks with eight, but he's one behind Greg Hardy (30) in quarterback pressures with 29. And he's tied for second on the team with eight tackles for loss, which leads all defensive linemen.
Lawrence said the same mindset he uses to rush the quarterback typically helps him in the run game as well.
"Most definitely. That's really what our defense is based upon – up-field pressure," he said. "For me, just getting off the ball and stopping the run all the way to the quarterback."
With one game remaining on the schedule, Lawrence doesn't sound like a player ready for the season to end. In fact, he's already looking forward to his postseason workouts.
"This offseason right here is going to be huge for me," Lawrence said. "I'm really trying to boost my (workout) numbers and be that dominant defensive end that I want to be."