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Mailbag: Expect Changes With D-Law's Contract? 


There's so much talk about what the Cowboys do with Amari Cooper's contract, but what about DeMarcus Lawrence? – MIKE STEELE / MANSFIELD, TX

Rob: A week before the new league year, I'm still not 100% sure. The reports are the Cowboys approached him about reworking his deal and he said no. Does that mean they'll for sure move on? Not necessarily. Remember, two of their top four defensive ends (Randy Gregory, Dorance Armstrong) are set to be free agents next week. To some extent I think any decision with Lawrence's contract will be connected to what happens elsewhere at the position.

Nick: Of the players that would save the team some money, I definitely would go with cutting Tank over Amari. I guess the answer could be both, but I'm just not a fan of letting Cooper go. And so if you need to save some money to sign other guys, then that's the route I'd go. But the tricky part is Randy Gregory. You'd really only part ways with Tank if you knew you were going to get Randy's deal done. The last thing you want is to lose both of those guys and then be forced into drafting pass-rushers earlier than you had hoped. So it's a big piece to the puzzle but if it makes sense to let Lawrence go, then it's the route I would take. I do like his game and the fact that he plays through a lot of injuries, but overall, Lawrence just hasn't played to the level of the contract.

Seems like every year the Cowboys never really get the big run stuffer at defensive tackle and every year we suffer watching good teams run all over us. When is Dallas going to finally settle this position and make the investment needed? Thanks. PETE RIGHTER / HENDERSON, NV

Nick: I'm with you. There are some big boys in this draft that I would consider if I'm the one picking the players – which I won't be. But with Parsons and maybe Gregory back, you should have some good pass-rushers on the edge. I trusty Dan Quinn to dial up enough pressure on third and long situations. But I've got to get there first. You have to stop the run on first and second down. I would consider making stronger investments to solidify the run defense and the middle so I can let my outside players shine a little more.

Rob: I wouldn't say the Cowboys got "run all over," at least not like 2020. The run defense was improved. There were games that didn't go as well, like the playoff game, so I agree it still has to be an emphasis. They didn't have Neville Gallimore until the final month and losing Brent Urban to a triceps injury in November hurt too. Curious to see if Quinton Bohanna can earn more snaps in the rotation because he fits that mold frame wise.

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