The Cowboys kept Lawrence off the practice field Wednesday as a precaution, according to David Moore of The Dallas Morning News. With an uninhibited return for Thursday's session, Lawrence is good to go for Sunday's game against the Giants and the immobile Eli Manning, who he's sacked just 1.5 times in six career appearances.
There hasn't been much buzz about Lawrence and the Cowboys discussing a long-term contract, with both sides seemingly content to see how things play out on a one-year, $17.14 million franchise tag. The team can tag the 26-year-old again next offseason, but it would cost approximately $20.6 million the second time around. Lawrence set career highs across the board in 2017 with 58 tackles, 14.5 sacks, four forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries in 16 games. He had 55 tackles and eight sacks in 2015, but managed just one sack in nine games during an injury-marred 2016 campaign.
The turnaround between implementation of the tender by the Cowboys and Lawrence accepting it took a mere six hours Monday. With one of the league's top sack artists locked up, the team now faces a deadline of July 16 to come to terms on a long-term deal, or else he'll play out the 2018 campaign on the aforementioned tag. Logging 67 percent of the Cowboys' defensive snaps last year, Lawrence's 14.5 sacks ranked second in the NFL behind only Chandler Jones' 17 and matched the Jaguars' Calais Campbell, the 2017 Defensive Player of the Year.
Lawrence was franchise tagged Monday, Ian Rapoport of NFL Network reports.
As expected, the Cowboys are using the franchise tag on Lawrence while they continue negotiations on a long-term contract. There was never any real chance they'd let their top pass rusher get away, but that doesn't mean it will be easy to work out the details of a multi-year deal. After showing flashes his first three professional seasons, the 2014 second-round pick finally put together a dominant campaign in 2017, tallying 58 tackles, 14.5 sacks, four forced fumbles and two fumble recoveries, albeit with most of that production coming in September and October.
The Cowboys will use their franchise tag on Lawrence before the 3 p.m. EST deadline March 6, but plan to continue negotiating with the defensive end through mid-July on a long-term contract, David Moore of The Dallas Morning News reports.
Dallas' top priority this offseason is re-signing Lawrence, a goal executive vice president Stephen Jones reiterated at the Senior Bowl last month, Brandon George of The Dallas Morning News reports. At the very least, Lawrence will return to Dallas next season and take home a hefty payday while the franchise tag remains in place, but the Cowboys are hopeful that will only be a temporary arrangement until they're able to reach terms on a long-term deal with the 25-year-old, who notched a career-high and team-leading 14.5 sacks last season. The Cowboys will have until July 16 to work out an extension with Lawrence and lower his cap hit for 2018 in the process.
|3||9/23/18||@ SEA||4:25 pm|
|5||10/7/18||@ HOU||8:20 pm|
|7||10/21/18||@ WAS||4:25 pm|
|Bye: Week 8|
|10||11/11/18||@ PHI||8:20 pm|
|11||11/18/18||@ ATL||1:00 pm|
|15||12/16/18||@ IND||1:00 pm|
|17||12/30/18||@ NYG||1:00 pm|
|Year||Team||G||Fum||Lost||Fum Forced||Own Rec||Opp Rec||Yds||Tot Rec||TD|