Less than a week after signing the monster contract he longed for, Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence will undergo surgery to finally fix a torn labrum he's played through the past two years.
On Friday, Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones told Mike Fisher of 247 Sports that Lawrence has scheduled surgery for Wednesday. According to the Star-Telegram's Clarence Hill Jr., who also reported that surgery is scheduled for Wednesday, Lawrence is expected to need 3-4 months to recover. The Cowboys' official team website wrote that the recovery is likely to take a minimum of three months.
That's all good news for the Cowboys. If they hadn't reached a contract agreement with Lawrence so early in the offseason, they might have been faced with the possibility of beginning the upcoming season without their best pass rusher. And after losing defensive end Randy Gregory to yet another suspension, the Cowboys couldn't afford to be without Lawrence, even though the recent trade for Robert Quinn would've helped soften the blow. Now, with Lawrence under contract and on track to be ready for the beginning of the season, the Cowboys will be able to pair Quinn with Lawrence.
Despite having a torn labrum, Lawrence has racked up 25 sacks the last two seasons after totaling only nine sacks through his first three seasons. He's the best player on a talented defense that finished last season ranked in the top 10 in points allowed, yards allowed, and DVOA. Most of that defense will be back and they've also added Quinn, who has 69 career sacks and 15 over the past two seasons. The Cowboys have also remained hopeful that Gregory, who recently signed an extension, will be able to play during the upcoming season.
It's worth wondering if Lawrence's level of play will improve (a scary thought) once he's fully healthy. It's also worth wondering how he would've handled the injury if contract negotiations with the Cowboys had stalled.
His shoulder injury is likely one significant reason why the team felt compelled to address his contract sooner rather than later a year after he played under the franchise tag. They couldn't afford to be without Lawrence when the season begins (and beyond). At some point, they were going to need to pay him. With good reason, they just did it a bit earlier than anyone really expected.