Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence picked a good moment to set a career high in sacks.
The 2014 second-round pick tied Calais Campbell for second in the league with 14.5 sacks during the final year of his rookie contract. That sets him up for a handsome payday this offseason.
Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said this week that he’d prefer that payday come in the form of a long-term deal, but using the franchise tag will be on the table if things can’t get done.
“Our first goal is to sign him to a long-term deal, obviously,” Jones said, via the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “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 said from Orlando this week, via NFL.com, that he’s comfortable with either the tag or a long-term deal and that he’s letting his agent handle things as we move toward the March 6 deadline to use the tag. He also said his goal for the offseason is to “make sure as a group of guys we get better as the Dallas Cowboys,” so it seems he expects to remain in Dallas one way or another.