The Dallas Cowboys will place a franchise tag on Demarcus Lawrence. The edge rusher will sit out until the team gives him a longterm deal. Will it happen?
Demarcus Lawrence played with the franchise tag in the 2017-18 season and is being tagged once again. The star defensive end was happy to take the paycheck the first time around, but this time he says that he will sit out until a longterm solution is agreed upon.
The franchise tag will cost the Cowboys $20.5 million in cap space. Lawrence has voiced his frustration and has threatened to wait to have shoulder surgery until a deal gets made. It is in the interest of both Lawrence and Dallas to get something done.
Lawrence wants a longterm contract with a lot of money guaranteed, most likely totaling around $100 million dollars. That would put him in the same ballpark as Broncos’ Von Miller, Houston Texans’ J.J. Watt, and Kansas City Chiefs’ Justin Houston. Like these players, Lawrence has a knack for getting to the quarterback.
But what separates Lawrence from almost every other edge defender is his ability to play the run and the pass.
Freshly-tagged Demarcus Lawrence tied with Jacksonville's Calais Campbell for the league lead in tackles for a loss or no gain against the run last year pic.twitter.com/IRvYL3KCBn
— Pro Football Focus (@PFF) March 6, 2019
When people hear the words “franchise tag”, they naturally get a little scared the player will fall through the fingers of the franchise. However, this is not a case like Le’veon Bell and the Pittsburg Steelers. The Cowboys’ front office has been very clear that they want Lawrence on the team.
The franchise tag offers more time for the two sides to reach a deal. Dallas does not intend to have Lawrence play on the tag.
But, they cannot lose a dominant player at one of the most important positions in football and a leader in the locker room. Lawrence is exactly what teams can only hope for in a second round pick: a player with a lot of raw talent with some red flags who works hard on and off the field to become a top-tier player in the league.
Everyone has expectations to sign the guy out of Seattle, Lawrence, maybe another receiver, etc. Ultimately, the Cowboys will sacrifice adding a potential Hall of Famer in Earl Thomas to ensure Lawrence stays in Dallas.
Jerry and Stephen Jones have to balance their wants to their real needs. They need to keep the core of a playoff winning team intact before they go add someone else.
There is an old saying in business, “When two sides want a deal to happen, it will happen”. Lawrence and the Cowboys want a deal, but the Cowboys might have to give more than they desire.
In short, the deal will get done unless it prohibits Dallas from extending their “wonderboy”– Dak Prescott.