We are a week away from teams able to designate players for the franchise tag.
Next week, the Dallas Cowboys will have a big decision to make. Teams will be able to designate franchise and transition players on February 20th.
The Cowboys might look to go the franchise tag route with DeMarcus Lawrence!
Dallas have said they would prefer to sign Lawrence to a long-term deal. This would be the top option over slapping the franchise tag on their All-Pro pass rusher.
Lawrence went into the 2017 season looking to cash in on a franchise season. That is exactly what he did as he set a career high in sacks for a season with 14.5. He was second in the NFL in that category, tied with Jacksonville’s veteran pass rusher, Calais Campbell.
The Cowboys had hoped that this current version of Lawrence would be the one that they drafted in 2014. Dallas used a second-round pick on the former Boise State defensive end. He would have a nice second year racking up eight sacks, showing Dallas the upside, he carries. However, in 2016, Lawrence struggled to get going. Whether it was suspension to start the season, or battling injury, Lawrence had a very subpar season. That put this past season as the make or break season for Lawrence as a Cowboy moving forward.
2/20/2018 First day for clubs to designate Franchise or Transition Player.
Potential candidates: Kirk Cousins, DeMarcus Lawrence, Le'Veon Bell, Jarvis Landry, Lamarcus Joyner, Ezekiel Ansah.
— Mike Jurecki (@mikejurecki) February 11, 2018
It’s safe to say that he lived up to that impact player in 2017 and has earned himself a major payday. Look for Lawrence to get looks from all over the league as a potential free agent signing. It won’t be cheap to keep Lawrence as a pass rusher, but Dallas will not let him walk in free agency.
The Cowboys have not had a player like Lawrence was in 2017 for a long time. It wasn’t since the days of DeMarcus Ware that Dallas had an elite pass rusher. Lawrence has a long way to go to be the player Ware was during his career. However, he is on the right path and Dallas would be foolish to let him walk. If Ware becomes a tutor for this defensive line moving forward, Lawrence would benefit greatly for it.
If they can’t get the long-term deal done, Dallas is nearly a lock to put the franchise tag on Lawrence!