DeMarcus Lawrence to have back surgery again

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Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence was limited to nine games this season due to a suspension at the start of the year and a back injury in the final weeks of the regular season, which helps explain why he went from eight sacks in 2015 to one sack in 2016.

Lawrence will address the back problem by having surgery this offseason. It’s the second straight year that Lawrence will have offseason back surgery.

Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones relayed that information from the Senior Bowl and added that defensive tackle Cedric Thornton is recovering from shoulder surgery.

“I’m not comfortable talking about people’s medical conditions until we release it,” Jones said, via the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “So just don’t get into [the details of] all of that. … We’re not worried about any of them, let’s put it that way.”

Even with a healthy return from Lawrence and Thornton, defense figures to be the major focus for the Cowboys this offseason as they try to find players who can give them the same boost that running back Ezekiel Elliott and quarterback Dak Prescott gave to the offense.