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© Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

DeMarcus Lawrence is still sorting through the whirlwind of Dallas Cowboys events from the last several hours, but he rightfully has a lot to say about it all. In the wake of the two-time Pro Bowl pass rusher accepting a new deal that will pay him $30 million fully guaranteed over the next three seasons, to avoid divorcing the only NFL team he's ever played for while allowing it added cap space to re-sign players like Randy Gregory, the Cowboys were able to secure an agreement with Gregory before things imploded at the last second -- sending him into the waiting arms of the Denver Broncos.

Lawrence was initially offered a pay cut that he outright refused, putting his future with the club in jeopardy, and he recently sat down with CBS Sports' "All Things Covered" podcast with Bryant McFadden and Patrick Peterson to spill the beans on how things transpired over the past couple of weeks or more.

"I'm glad to get my deal done," Lawrence said with a smile. "Glad to be able to come back to the Dallas Cowboys and ... go for a ring. To have the opportunity to finish and to do the deed in Dallas -- that's all anybody could ever ask for. ... Just going through the last couple of weeks was very stressful, thinking I have to move my family and my kids have to be set up in new schools. All that mess. 

"Being able to sit down with Stephen [Jones] and talk to him face to face, man to man to understand what they were having problems with [versus] what I needed out of the deal and what I was worth -- being able to come to that understanding -- and they agreed on it, shoot, that was the best news I could ever get."

There did come a point when he started picturing himself in a different uniform, though.

"Yea, this week," he admitted. "... [but now] I'm in a good place."

He is now, but wasn't then, because things got very contentious during the talks, and owner Jerry Jones had to step in and green light the deal after Lawrence received what he says was a request by Stephen Jones to change his contract to a one-year deal worth only $10 million. For reference, he was set to earn a $19 million salary in 2022 and far more on the open market than the initial pay cut offer from the Cowboys if granted a release, which is what he requested after he was presented with that figure from the younger Jones. 

When Lawrence, who signed a five-year, $105 million deal in 2019 with $65 million guaranteed, refused the request and he and his agent, David Canter, constructed the current deal of three years with $30 million fully guaranteed (a max value of $40 million), the team's executive forwarded the offer to the elder Jones for consideration.

"[Stephen Jones] sent me over a number and I'm like, 'What is this shit, bro'?" said Lawrence. "Why are y'all sitting here playing with me. "You don't want to know [the number] man, it's disrespectful. ... I feel like it was disrespectful. I told them like, 'Hey man. The Cowboys have done a lot for me and I thank y'all for everything y'all done, but I think it's time for us to part ways and I wish for y'all to cut me.'"

It was at that point Jerry Jones became involved, it being a key aside to note Jones was also responsible for interceding on the Gregory deal to reach an agreement before others in the front office caused it to detonate.

"Stephen was like, 'Alright, I'm about to bring your offer to Jerry to see what he says, but I'm pretty sure he's gonna be pissed about it because he just gave you $65 million,'" Lawrence added, wearing a visible scoff. "My response was, "He ain't give me shit. I earned it. Feel me? So if Jerry wants to keep me here, he has to understand this is what I'm worth, and I'm actually showing love and helping y'all out by offering y'all the relief in cap space. 

"'So let's go out here and have a fruitful free agency and pick up the guys we need in order to win a Super Bowl. Because if I'm not getting this number, I won't be here to help.'

"Jerry was like, 'Shoot, D-Law has been faithful to us for the last seven or eight years, give him his money. Jerry came in and got it straight.'"

And so it was, one major fire was now put out, and it was a home run move by the Cowboys after trading away four-time Pro Bowl wide receiver Amari Cooper to the Cleveland Browns only days prior. The next big swing was on Gregory, having landed a solid double on a two-year deal with former first-round pick Malik Hooker early on Tuesday morning, but it was ultimately not to be. The fallout hit especially hard for Lawrence, who has been on the same team with Gregory since 2015 and has formed a bond of brotherhood strong enough to warrant freeing up cap space to help sign him back to the team, along with others.

Lawrence is still in a bit of shock regarding how it all went to shambles on Day 2 of free agency.

"Actually, me and my boys were in the weight room lifting weights [on Tuesday] morning, and we get the news that Randy is going to sign back with us, so we're all in their crunk," said Lawrence, referencing his jubilation at the news. "But then I got in the car and I'm driving home, and my agent [David Canter] is like, 'Damn, bro. We lost Randy.' 

"And I'm like, 'Man, what you talking about?', and he's like, 'Man, he's going to Denver.' I'm like, 'Huh? I could've sworn they just told me Randy is upstairs signing his contract. You gotta be kidding me.'

"All this craziness with free agency. ... All I can say is best of luck to Randy. I appreciate the friendship and the teammate that he is, and being able to play with him all those years -- I just wish him the best and I'm glad he got paid."

That he has, on a similar five-year deal worth $70 million with $28 million guaranteed, the offer initially matched by the Cowboys, but one without the controversial clause that would allow for voiding of guaranteed money if Gregory was fined (not simply suspended, but fined). With that news, the Cowboys immediately pivoted to Plan B, and that's to make a strong pitch at trying to land future first ballot Hall of Fame linebacker Von Miller, a native of the Dallas area who also has strong interest in returning -- assuming the money and overall offer is palatable.

While Lawrence will miss Gregory, he's justifiably all for Miller as what would be viewed as anything but a consolation prize.

"Of course, fam," Lawrence said of potentially playing on the same defensive line as the three-time first-team All-Pro. "[I'm for] anybody that's going to help us get to the level we need to play at, and that's a Super Bowl level. Von has capitalized twice on winning a Super Bowl. He's a great defensive end. Shoot, we'll be lucky to get Von. I'll be happy to play with Von." 

If anything, Lawrence is looking forward to trying to outproduce the legend in 2022, for both bragging rights in the locker room and a long-awaited deep playoff run for the Cowboys.

"If you ain't got competition, you ain't gonna work hard enough to get there."