The Dallas Cowboys had hoped to get a long-term deal done with standout defensive end Demarcus Lawrence before free agency, but that does not appear imminent.
According to Clarence Hill Jr. of the Star-Telegram, the Cowboys are “not close” to a deal with Lawrence, and are unlikely to reach one before the March 5 deadline to use the franchise tag.
Lawrence does not want the franchise tag, but it appears to be trending that way. Dallas is desperate to retain him, and they sounded willing to pay up in order to do so, but there’s clearly distance between the player and the organization at this point.
The Dallas Cowboys have work to do if they want to retain star defensive end Demarcus Lawrence, but they appear to be ready to do it.
According to Clarence E. Hill Jr. of the Star-Telegram, the Cowboys likely won’t use the franchise tag on Lawrence at this point, preferring instead to try to negotiate a long-term contract extension. The deadline to use the franchise tag is March 5, and the Cowboys will do it if they must.
The Cowboys will reportedly keep Lawrence “at all cost,” but a second consecutive franchise tag would make him unhappy and risk him skipping offseason activities and potentially even regular season games.
Lawrence had big demands of Dallas last season in talks over a long-term deal. After a second straight season with double-digit sacks, it’s unlikely that price has gone down.
The NFL offseason is expected to be a busy one, and some big names are likely to find new homes next season. There will inevitably be some players hit with the franchise tag or retained by their teams, but there are plenty of high-profile players who will be traded or allowed to leave their current teams for a new home elsewhere.
Here are ten big names who could be in a new uniform when the next NFL season kicks off.
10. Jordan Hicks, LB, Eagles
Drafted by Philly in 2015, Hicks’ rookie deal with the Eagles is expiring. He emerged as a force on the team’s defense last season, recording 91 tackles, 3 sacks, 6 quarterback hits and 5 passes defended in 12 games. Injuries are a question with Hicks – he suffered a torn Achilles’ tendon in 2017 and missed a month this season due to a calf injury. Still, when he’s on the field, he makes things happen. He even has 7 interceptions in 43 games. He’s expected to test free agency.
Aqib Talib stepped into a live postgame interview on FOX and dropped an F-bomb that was widely noted, but there actually is some context to it.
FOX NFL reporter Chris Myers conducted an interview with Los Angeles Rams quarterback Jared Goff after the team’s 30-22 win over the Dallas Cowboys on Saturday. Talib came in during the middle of the interview and dropped an F-bomb, saying the Cowboys didn’t take their quarterback’s soul.
Here’s the video, but beware of the curse word.
What the heck was Talib talking about? He actually was making a reference to what Cowboys defensive lineman DeMarcus Lawrence said during the week about wanting to take the quarterback’s soul.
Instead, the Rams wound up with a soul-snatching win from Dallas. Goff was 15/28 for 186 yards and converted a big first down on the ground to ice the game. He mostly took a back seat to the team’s rushing attack, which amassed 273 yards.
At least Talib didn’t drop the F-bomb on a reporter this time.
The Saints are viewed by many as the favorite to win the Super Bowl this year, but the Cowboys are hoping to quiet some of that talk by continuing their own winning streak on Thursday night. One Dallas player believes he knows just how his team is going to do that.
While speaking with reporters on Tuesday, Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence made it clear that he will not be intimidated by a New Orleans team that has won 10 straight.
Drew Brees is having an MVP-caliber season as the Saints’ offense continues to hum along, but their defense has been the real difference-maker in recent weeks. Sean Payton’s team has allowed an average of just 12.7 points per game over the past three weeks, and the numbers would look even better if they didn’t fall asleep in the second half of what should have been a blowout win over the Los Angeles Rams in Week 9.
The Cowboys have improved to 6-5 with their three-game win streak and look like the favorites to win the NFC East. Their defense has also been a primary reason for that, but they have a chance to really prove themselves if they can execute Lawrence’s game play on Thursday.
The 2018 season has seen an infusion of a lot of great young defensive talent, plus several veterans either continuing or reclaiming their feared status among NFL offenses. Even though scoring is the name of the game in this year’s NFL, there are still players on the other side of the ball who are exciting and have a huge impact on the outcome of games.
With that in mind, here are the ten biggest defensive standouts of the 2018 season so far.
10) Derwin James, S, Chargers
James has an excellent case for Defensive Rookie of the Year as a do-it-all safety who has contributed in both the pass rush and coverage. He already has six QB hits and 3.5 sacks on the season, clearly being utilized well by the Chargers in that department, as well as an interception and 44 total tackles. It’s scary how good James already is and how much better he’ll likely get, and it’s showing in the performances he’s already putting together.
Dallas Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence has apparently been putting up huge numbers despite a pretty significant shoulder injury that has lasted for quite some time.
Lawrence appeared on the Cowboys’ injury report with a shoulder problem this week, and he said his shoulder had popped out during last week’s game against Houston.
The Pro Bowler then went a step further, stating that his labrum had been torn for two years and he has simply played through it without saying anything.
“This is the first time it popped out on me last week,” Lawrence said, via Brandon George of SportsDay. “I was about to cry on the sidelines if y’all didn’t notice. It was hurting bad. It feels better now.
“It’s been torn two years ago and you never knew it, right? I’ll work through it like any other injury.”
If that is the case, it hasn’t really negatively impacted Lawrence. He has 20 sacks since the start of last season, and it makes his decision to go ahead and play on the franchise tag in 2018 rather than compromising on a long-term deal look even bolder.
DeMarcus “Tank” Lawrence took a photo posing with something befitting of his nickname.
The Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman shared a picture on Twitter Monday that showed up him at the team’s training camp in Oxnard, Calif. posing in front of a military tank.
Perhaps Lawrence thought “tank” was a nickname that applied until he stood in front of that monstrous vehicle.
Lawrence was a star for the Cowboys last season, recording 58 tackles with 15 sacks. The Cowboys assigned him the franchise tag, which he will play under for 2018. He will make $17.1 million, which should enable him to get some tank rides from the military.
The NFL can be notoriously fickle. The risk of injury, the lack of guaranteed money, and the ever-changing game can alter the trajectory of a career very quickly. For some players, it leaves them in a position where they have to prove themselves again in order to re-establish themselves as top-tier stars.
Here are 15 players who are looking to do just that in 2018. They may have had off-field issues, a lot of injuries, are entering a contract year, or any combination thereof. Either way, all eyes will be on them this coming season, and it’s up to them to respond.
1) Odell Beckham Jr., Giants
There’s so much good about Beckham, but we haven’t seen enough of it in the last year or so. He hasn’t stayed healthy. He’s gotten involved in off-field distractions. He hasn’t produced to the standards he’s capable of even when healthy. Now entering a contract year, he needs to prove to the Giants and everyone else that he can let his football do the talking. So far, he’s reportedly off to a good start.
Dallas Cowboys defensive lineman Demarcus Lawrence wants to cash in after his huge 2017 season.
Lawrence collected 14.5 sacks last season and got hit with the franchise tag for 2018, guaranteeing him $17.1 million next season. However, in talks for a long-term deal, the 26-year-old wants to be compensated in the same league as the game’s best pass rushers.
According to Calvin Watkins of the Athletic, Lawrence wants a five-year deal, and he wants more total money than the $72 million extension Danielle Hunter recently signed with the Minnesota Vikings. Lawrence, who must sign a long-term deal by July 16 in order to avoid the tag, is also waiting to see what happens to the contract situations of Oakland’s Khalil Mack, Los Angeles’s Aaron Donald, and Houston’s Jadeveon Clowney.
Lawrence is a fiery character who clearly believes in himself. It leaves the Cowboys with a difficult decision to make, though. Lawrence has a history of back issues and only one truly elite season. If they think he can stay healthy and put up more seasons like 2017, he’s worth the investment, but that’s not a no-brainer.