Report: DeMarcus Lawrence’s future in doubt after he declines pay cut

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The Cowboys are “likely” to release receiver Amari Cooper. They also could move on from defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence.

Calvin Watkins of the Dallas Morning News reports the Cowboys asked Lawrence to take a pay cut, and he declined. That could have Lawrence heading elsewhere.

In 2014, the Cowboys released edge rusher DeMarcus Ware after he refused a pay cut.

It has long been anticipated the Cowboys would have a decision about Lawrence’s future. Lawrence is scheduled to make $19 million in base salary and count $27 million against the cap, the fifth-highest cap number in the league at his position. His release, if he’s designated a post-June 1 cut, would save the Cowboys $19 million against their cap in 2022 with $8 million in dead money.

Lawrence earned a five-year, $105 million extension in April 2019 after back-to-back Pro Bowl seasons. He had 14.5 sacks, 26 quarterback hits and 14 tackles for loss in 2017 and 10.5 sacks, 23 quarterback hits and 15 tackles for loss in 2018.

He has not been the same player since.

In 39 games over the past three seasons, he has a total of 14.5 sacks, 33 quarterback hits, 26 tackles for loss and no Pro Bowls.

He played only seven games in 2021 after breaking his foot in practice the week after the opener.

The team’s other starting defensive end, Randy Gregory, is a free agent, which complicates the team’s decision.

7 responses to “Report: DeMarcus Lawrence’s future in doubt after he declines pay cut

  1. That’s a pretty easy call. Anyone would take the $19M in cap space over the 3-5 sacks.

  2. While a player not living up to a new, market setting contract is not exclusive to the Cowboys, it always feels like Jerry has elevated it into an art form.

  3. Seems to be a theme with the Cowboys. Much like Elliot he wasn’t going to play without a long term deal and they’d probably both be cut this year if Elliot’s money wasn’t guaranteed.

    One more red flag with Lawrence though was that he wasn’t going to get surgery on his shoulder unless he got the long term deal. He was going to pull a Michael Thomas and rehab on company time (during the season) so the team would just be throwing the money away.

    What ended up being worse $105/5 years for lawrence or $90/6 years for Elliot? I’m going to go with Elliot because what kind of idiot allocates $15 mill/yr to a running back into his 30s? Well the Panthers but they regretted that before the ink was dry as well.

  4. Dal should be embarrassed. Asking one of their best players to take a pay cut simply bc they paid a washed up running back and a QB who can’t complete passes against teams outside the NFC East

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