Cowboys, DeMarcus Lawrence hoping for deal before March 5

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The Cowboys will use the franchise tag on defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence again if it comes to that. He’s not going anywhere.

But the team hopes to negotiate a long-term deal with Lawrence before the March 5 deadline and thus has no plans to use the tag until then, Clarence Hill of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports. Teams can begin using the tag Tuesday.

Lawrence played the 2018 season under the $17.1 million franchise tag. He has made it clear he has no intention of playing a second consecutive year under the tag, which would pay him $20.5 million this year.

Lawrence has not had the shoulder surgery he needs, according to Hill, and probably won’t have it until getting a long-term contract. Lawrence also plans to sit out all team activities in the absence of a new deal.

He made 10.5 sacks, 39 quarterback pressures in 2018 and earned a second trip to the Pro Bowl.