DeMarcus Lawrence is about to enter his seventh year with the Dallas Cowboys. He had a rough going in the early part of his NFL career, but has turned himself into one of the game’s top defensive players. Lawrence is having a very strong camp this season and it’s all been made possible by his wife.
DeMarcus Lawrence has become a Pro Bowl defensive player
DeMarcus Lawrence played his college football at Boise State. He played two seasons with the Broncos after transferring from Butler Community College. Lawrence was selected in the second round of the 2014 NFL draft by the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys traded up in the second round and selected the talented defensive end with the 34th overall pick.
Lawrence had to deal with a fractured right foot suffered in training camp during his rookie season. He didn’t play a game until Week 9 and played sparingly the rest of the season. Lawrence finished with nine combined tackles and didn’t have a sack in his first year. In 2016, Lawrence was suspended four games for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy. He played nine games that season.
Lawrence had his breakout season in 2017, playing all 16 games and recording a career-high 14.5 sacks. He also added four forced fumbles. The 6-foot-3, 265-pound Lawrence made the first of his back-to-back Pro Bowls that season. He followed that up with 10.5 sacks and two forced fumbles in 2018. He also had a career-high 64 combined tackles. Last season, his numbers dipped as he had just five sacks and 45 combined tackles in 16 games.
Lawrence earns huge payday from the Dallas Cowboys
In 2018, the Dallas Cowboys and DeMarcus Lawrence were hoping to work out a long-term deal. It didn’t happen, but the Cowboys slapped the franchise tag on Lawrence. Before Lawrence was franchised, Stephen Jones, executive vice president of the Cowboys, said eventually signing him to a long-term deal was a priority.
“We won’t let D-Law not be a Dallas Cowboy next year. We’ll get that straight right now,” Cowboys said in 2018, according to NFL.com. “We’ll do everything we can to try to make something work, and if we don’t get it done then we’ll franchise tag him. Then we’ll go back to work. We’d like to not have that franchise tag hanging out there. We’ve got a big negotiation ahead of us. But we don’t want DeMarcus Lawrence going anywhere.”
In April of 2019, the Cowboys signed Lawrence to a five-year, $105 million extension. According to the Star-Telegram, Lawrence received a $25 million signing bonus and got $65 million guaranteed, the most ever by a Cowboys player.
Lawrence off to a strong start in camp
According to a report in the Dallas Morning News, DeMarcus Lawrence continues to be a force during camp. He’s been easily the most disruptive defensive lineman. Lawrence is looking to bounce back from a down 2019 season, but the Cowboys are just lucky he’s at camp. Lawrence said if it wasn’t for his wife, he’s not sure he’d be playing football right now.
Many players took advantage of the NFL’s opt-out option this season due to the pandemic. Lawrence, whose wife, Sasha, is seven months pregnant, was thinking of doing the same. “My decision was made by my wife,” Lawrence said to USA Today. “She basically told me there’s no way possible that I could miss this season. My wife is taking care of home. I respect her so much and I know she’ll do a great job. I just got to focus on football right now and when I’m able to get back home, I’ll be there.”
Sasha Lawrence said it was all about sacrifice. “I just told him: ‘On my end, I’ll be all right,” she said. “‘On your end, you’ll be all right.’ And we’ll just figure this thing out. In life we’re both going to have to make sacrifices. And if this is one thing we have to sacrifice – me being the only parent at home – that’s what I’ve got to do, and I’m totally fine with it.”