Cowboys officials have expressed optimism about signing DeMarcus Lawrence to a new deal all offseason long, but now they’re close to making it a reality.
The chances of DeMarcus Lawrence actually playing the 2019 season on the franchise tag seem to be pretty minimal. The Cowboys have been confident about their ability to lock him down to a long-term extension for months and now it seems that Jerry Jones is ready to put his money where his mouth is.
Pro Football Talk is carrying the report from an anonymous league source that claims the team and their 26-year-old defensive end are “getting close” to a new agreement. In other words, Lawrence won’t be playing on a one-year, $20.5 million contract this season. The expectation is that the Cowboys will sign him to a multi-year extension that will keep Lawrence in Dallas throughout his prime.
The deal is obviously good news for Cowboys fans who want to see their premier edge rusher stay put. However, it also increased the chances that Dallas can keep two of Lawrence’s most talented teammates.
Quarterback Dak Prescott and No. 1 wide receiver Amari Cooper will both be looking for big money extensions in the coming months. The Cowboys front office should be in a better position to negotiate those agreements now that they know exactly how much Lawrence will cost. Team officials insisted they weren’t waiting on Lawrence before moving on to Prescott and Cooper, but solidifying the defensive end’s status with the team should help Dallas feel more comfortable when negotiating with their offensive stars.
Keeping Lawrence off the franchise tag will also allow the Cowboys to keep that option in their back pocket for both Prescott and Cooper. The team doesn’t want to be put into a position where they have to franchise either player, but the unspoken threat of tagging each star might help keep their contract demands somewhat grounded.
Contract details for Lawrence’s deal aren’t available at this time, but it’s hard to construe this news as anything but positive for the Cowboys. They get to keep one of the NFL’s premier pass rushers for the prime of his career. Acquiring cost certainty on Lawrence should also allow them to re-sign Prescott and Cooper. It’s a good day for Jerry Jones and company.