DeMarcus Lawrence has indicated on record that he understands he’s not “going anywhere” after a breakout 2017 season. The talented pass rusher racked up 14.5 sacks for the Dallas Cowboys and, in short, he is a massive priority for the organization as a result. That means that the Cowboys would likely use the franchise tag to retain him if necessary and, in speaking with The Fort Worth Star-Telegram this week, Cowboys EVP Stephen Jones echoed that sentiment in an interesting way.
“Our first goal is to sign him to a long-term deal, obviously. To me, the only reason you use a franchise tag is to hopefully protect yourself if you can’t get a long-term deal signed that you like. That’s normally the route we like to go.
“Certainly, we’re going to roll up our sleeves and see if we can do something with DeMarcus without having a franchise tag.”
Lawrence’s reference to not “going anywhere” stems directly from the knowledge of the franchise tag, though it is clear the Cowboys would prefer a long-term deal if possible. There are potential complications with the deal, including some injury history for Lawrence, but his age and production come together to form a tantalizing package and, were he to hit the open market, that would mean a huge salary.
The Cowboys and Lawrence will continue to be married to one another in 2018 but the only question is what kind of contract that will include.