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Progress Report

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Progress Report: Resurgent Year For D-Law


Despite battling injuries, DeMarcus Lawrence returned to Pro Bowl form in 2022. From setting career highs to nabbing his first touchdown as a professional, it was quite the year for D-Law.

Once again, the Cowboys find themselves with over 20 players who have expiring contracts. But still, there's a large percentage of players on the roster already in place. Over the next few weeks, the staff writers will evaluate those players under contract, reviewing their past performances with an outlook to the future. Today, we'll continue the series with defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence.

What Worked: Few players have been as steady for the Cowboys as DeMarcus Lawrence has been during his nine seasons with the franchise. After missing 10 games with injury in 2021, Lawrence played in all 17 games while earning his third trip to the Pro Bowl with a career high 65 tackles. Lawrence also wreaked havoc on opposing offensive lines, forcing three fumbles, and recovering two, compiling 13 quarterback hits, three pass deflections as well six sacks in his age-30 season.

Needs Some Work: The biggest thing for Lawrence moving forward will be his health. He'll be entering his age-31 season in 2023 and is just a season removed from a left foot fracture that cost him 10 games and bothered him again in 2022. His presence in stopping the run game is something the Cowboys will need this season after struggling to slow down opposing run games last season, as well as the veteran leadership he brings to an otherwise fairly young position group.

His Best Work: Most defensive linemen don't get a chance to find the endzone very often, but when they do they make sure it counts. In Week 5 against the Rams Lawrence made his long-awaited trip to the endzone for the first time in his career, scooping up a forced fumble by Dorance Armstrong on a sack of Matthew Stafford and taking it 19-yards for the touchdown. Although as an honorable mention, Lawrence's three-sack performance against the Giants in Week 3 on Monday Night Football ranks right up there for his best work.

Contract Considerations: Lawrence and the Cowboys restructured his contract earlier this offseason, moving $13.3 of his $15 million salary into a signing bonus as a means to create cap space. Following that, his base salary now sits at $1.6 million, and his cap hit now resides at $17.1 million and remains under contract through the 2025 season.

What's Next: The Cowboys will be leaning on Lawrence to repeat the success he had on the field and as one of the veteran voices for one of the best defenses in the league last year. After returning to some of his career norms and setting some career highs in a full season healthy, keeping the long-time Cowboys' defensive end upright will be a focus heading into 2023 as part of talented defense in Dallas.

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