IRVING, Texas – The hospital wristband still around DeMarcus Lawrence's arm following the first of two rookie minicamp practices Saturday validated how little down time the second-round pick's had the last 24 hours.
Lawrence arrived in Dallas on Tuesday with his parents to settle in early, a day before getting the call that his girlfriend was going into labor and his son was coming early.
He packed up and got on a flight, which was delayed in Denver. After arriving, he rushed straight to the hospital to see his son, Damari, before flying back to Dallas and arriving at 5:30 on Saturday morning, going straight to work.
"I talked to the doctor, who said just try to get here as fast as you can," Lawrence said. "He did later let me look at the birth on FaceTime. That was a blessing."
It's been a week full of blessings for Lawrence, who wasn't expecting his son until May 27. Less than a week after living out his dream by getting selected in the NFL Draft, he became a father for the first time.
"It is crazy, but it's amazing at the same time," Lawrence said. "God gave me so many blessing this weekend. The only I can do is receive them. No sleep, but we're still on the ground."
Lawrence said his eyes lit up the moment he got the FaceTime call that his girlfriend was in labor. Not that the second-round pick needed any more motivation, but he said it does push him knowing he now has a mouth to feed and his life isn't only about him anymore. In his words, his life is now all about his son.
The defensive end didn't have much time to soak in the moment, though, as rookie minicamp had already gotten underway. He returned this morning and only had time for a quick shower before getting back to work.
Saturday's practices were much lighter than the previous day's when the team wore helmets, but that allowed Lawrence to ease his way in. He also got work after practice with a helmet on off to the side doing drills.
Lawrence, who has the same first name as one of the most highly-decorated defensive ends in team history, knows the expectations are on him to perform quickly. But he's not adding any more pressure on himself. He said DeMarcus Ware set the standard high, but he can't worry about that.
That doesn't mean he lacks faith in his abilities.
"I feel like I'm the best and I'm just going to go out there and prove it each and every day," Lawrence said. "You can't let your words speak, you've got to let your play speak for you. That's what I'm going to go out there and do." [embedded_ad]
The veterans are doing their part to try to make Lawrence feel at home. He said he's getting good advice from them, in particular from fellow former Boise State defensive lineman Tyrone Crawford.
Lawrence said when he's on the field, all of his focus is on football. Now when he leaves it, it's all on his son.
"We are going to FaceTime until I find a complete spot for my girl to come and move down here, so we are just going to FaceTime until we get everything situated around here," Lawrence said. "But Dallas is our new home now."
The birth of his son was the highpoint of an exhilarating week for the Cowboys' new defensive end. It's been a thrill for Lawrence, who laughed when questioned why he didn't ask for owner/general manager Jerry Jones' plane.
"I ain't going to ask Mr. Jones for any more than he gave me now," Lawrence said with a smile.