DeMarcus Lawrence is September’s top NFC defensive player

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Cowboys defensive end Demarcus Lawrence was suspended for the first four games of the 2016 season, but he’s been available for the first month of this season and the Dallas defense has been better for his presence.

Lawrence has been named the NFC’s defensive player of the month after a three-game run that ended with him leading the league in sacks.

Lawrence opened the year with 1.5 sacks in the season-opening win over the Giants and had two more in a loss to the Broncos the next week. Last Sunday, Lawrence dropped Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer three times as the Cowboys found their way back to the winning side of the scoreboard.

Lawrence, who also has 17 tackles and a forced fumble, is in the final year of his contract with the Cowboys. Keeping up anything close to the production he’s provided to open the season will lead to a lucrative deal in Dallas or somewhere else in 2018.