Cowboys should still be worried about DeMarcus Lawrence

The Cowboys did a lot of things right this offseason but not getting DeMarcus Lawrence more help could come back to bite Dallas in a major way.

DeMarcus Lawrence made big money for the Cowboys in 2019 but he didn’t give their defensive big time production. Dallas is going to be in serious trouble if their high-priced edge rusher only gives them five sacks again when the 2020 season rolls around.

For what it’s worth, Lawrence insists that his skills aren’t in decline. He recently told the media that his “sack number will be back up.” New Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy desperately needs Lawrence’s prediction to come true.

The Cowboys deservedly earned a lot of plaudits about the offseason work they accomplished. In particular, they aced the draft. They did not, however, manage to secure a solid starter to play opposite Lawrence at the team’s other defensive end spot.

The franchise hopes that someone like Aldon Smith or Randy Gregory can provide their defensive line a big boost if the NFL reinstates either player prior to the start of the regular season. Otherwise, they’ll be forced to rely on the likes of Tyrone Crawford and Dorance Armstrong to support Lawrence. Expecting any of those guys to become a double-digit sack artist is much more of a wish than an actual plan.

Cowboys fans shouldn’t be too excited about acquiring either Gerald McCoy or Dontari Poe in free agency. Both veterans played a lot of snaps for a Panthers defense that was among the worst units in the NFL a season ago. They might profile as average starters this year in Dallas, but it’s highly unlikely McCarthy and  his staff will get anything more out of the former Carolina duo.

Add all of those question marks up and it’s clear that Lawrence needs to play like an All-Pro at defensive end to make the Cowboys defense good enough to make this team a legitimate Super Bowl threat.

That’s a ton of pressure to put on a 28-year-old edge rusher coming off his least productive season as a regular starter. Lawrence’s tape from 2019 doesn’t look bad, but he doesn’t have the same juice he showed off the edge during the prime of his career. THe Cowboys need to face the tough reality that Lawrence is entering the decline of his career.

Next: NFL Draft grades: Did the Cowboys assemble the best class?

The franchise must hope that it’s a relatively slow decline. They cannot afford for Lawrence’s production to dip in 2020. He needs to reemerge as a double-digit sack artist if the Cowboys are going to realize their Super Bowl dreams. Don’t be surprised if pressuing the quarterback becomes Dallas’ Achilles heal when they face elite offenses this year.

Products You May Like

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *