DeMarcus Lawrence has been the backbone of the Dallas Cowboys run defense for years. The knock on him during that time has been his lack of sack production after back-to-back double-digit showings in that area in 2017 and 2018.
When the Cowboys took on the New York Giants this past Monday, Lawrence proved that at any given moment, he can still be dominant when going after the quarterback as he recorded three sacks, tying his career-high for a single game that he’s achieved twice before.
After his big performance, Lawrence spoke with Jane Slater of NFL Network, and he mentioned his competition with a specific teammate.
“Feels great,” Lawrence said. “Me and Micah got a little bet going on, I feel like I was a little behind. The energy was up, my body felt good today, so I attacked it.”
A closer look at Cowboys DE DeMarcus Lawrence's night vs. Giants. He recorded three sacks and influenced a fourth despite missing two second-half series with a foot injury. He returned to help close out Monday's win. pic.twitter.com/mvyzV6UOfF— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) September 28, 2022
Dan Quinn has earned an abundance of stripes in the Cowboys’ organization with the way he’s built the team’s defense into one of the league’s best. After watching Lawrence destroy the Giants’ pass protection, Quinn reminded everyone that he is still that guy.
“I was really pleased with D-Law. Some people thought he was a forgotten man around here. I promise you inside this building he is not forgotten. And around the league he is not.“
Lawrence also had six tackles and seven pressures. He was so good against the Giants that he racked up his three sacks by the beginning of the third quarter, putting him one behind Micah Parsons whom he has a bet with for who will lead the Cowboys in sacks this season.
The two-time Pro Bowler doesn’t just want to inspire his younger teammate to maximize his ability, he wants it to spread throughout the Cowboys’ defense, which leads the league in sacks with 13 through the first three weeks of the season.
“I gotta make sure I keep putting pressure on him,” Lawrence said. “[I] want all the guys to be the best they can be and also for myself, so we gonna keep competing.”
Lawrence did have a bit of a setback against the Giants. In the third quarter, Lawrence went down with a foot issue, causing some brief concern. However, he walked off the field with little assistance and returned to the game about midway through the fourth quarter after heading to the locker room, and said he should be fine going forward.
“It was just a little irritated at the time,” Lawrence said. “Get a little rest and I’ll be alright.”
Lawrence showed his loyalty to the Cowboys back in March by giving them some cap relief by agreeing to a three-year deal worth $40 million with $30 million in guaranteed dollars. Now, he’s reminding the football world to remember his name when it comes to the league’s top defenders, especially from an all-around standpoint.
As mentioned, Lawrence and his prowess as a run defender are undeniable. Now, it’s a matter of Lawrence continuing to turn back the clock when it comes to getting the quarterback down, which he vowed to do in the offseason, and that will allow the Cowboys’ defense to further expand its dominance
Feature image via Danielle Parhizkaran/NorthJersey.com / USA TODAY NETWORK