Dallas Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence believes his sack numbers will rise in 2020.
Defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence had gained 25 sacks through the 2017 and 2018 NFL seasons for the Dallas Cowboys defense. Making the Pro Bowl both years, the Cowboys had finally found their “war daddy” as owner Jerry Jones once famously quipped.
Dallas signed Lawrence to a five-year, $105 million contract with $65 million guaranteed last April. But after a season that didn’t stick out on the stat sheet, the Cowboys defensive end faces pressure to perform in 2020.
After the Cowboys traded for defensive end Robert Quinn last offseason, Lawrence suffered a decline in sack numbers. Quinn had an overachieving season in Dallas in 2019, sacking the quarterback 11.5 times in 14 games. Lawrence had just 5.0 sacks in 16 games.
With Lawrence accounting for $21.9 million of the team’s cap room in 2020, he will have pressure to do more for the team. To his credit, even with the low sack total, Tank was able to have an impact on the field, generating a great help to the run defense.
Lawrence also faced double teams quite often, generating greater opportunities for players like Quinn to get into the backfield. With that being said, other star pass rushers in the NFL such as defensive tackle Aaron Donald from the Los Angeles Rams and linebacker Khalil Mack from the Chicago Bears face similar attention from opposing offensive lines but still find a way to disrupt the quarterback.
“I know I ended the season with five sacks, but I also helped other players boost their numbers back up to double digits. It’s not a one-man game and I know how to play the game the right way. I know how to make plays when plays come my way. And I also know how to make sure my teammates are making their plays. You don’t have to worry about nothing. Trust me, the sack number will be back up.”
After losing Robert Quinn to the Chicago Bears in free agency, defensive end Aldon Smith or Tyrone Crawford will likely be starting opposite of DeMarcus Lawrence on the defensive line. With 2020 being Smith’s first season since 2015, and Crawford coming off a hip injury that allowed him to start just two games in 2019, Lawrence will have to have a big impact on the line if the Dallas Cowboys hope to be Super Bowl contenders.