Demarcus Lawrence had four sacks, tying him for the league lead. However, earlier this week, after a review of the game film from the Cowboys’ season opener against the Giants, the Elias Sports Bureau took a half sack from the defensive end and gave it to defensive tackle Maliek Collins.
The statistics service is the only thing that has kept Lawrence from sacks. He also has a team-leading six quarterback pressures and a forced fumble.
“I think the key is my back is feeling good, and I’m paying more attention to details,” Lawrence said, via Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News. “It’s slowing the game down a lot for me. Plus, my coaches and my players are helping me get in the right position to make plays.”
The former second-round pick had back surgeries after the 2015 and 2016 seasons. He also served a four-game suspension last season.
This season, he has nothing standing in his way. In fact, Lawrence has much to play for, as he’s in the final year of his four-year, $5.5 million rookie contract.
“It’s way bigger than that,” Lawrence said. “I mean, it’s a contract year, so what? I want to be here forever. This year don’t define me as a player. Y’all might say it’s because it’s a contract year, but the first year I was balling. My second year I was balling. My third year I had trouble with my back, so it didn’t seem like I was there. This year doesn’t define me.”
Lawrence, who had eight sacks in 2015 and one in 2016, might prove to be the “War Daddy” pass rusher owner Jerry Jones has sought since releasing DeMarcus Ware. At this rate, though, Lawrence is going to cost more than the Cowboys expected to pay.