Indianapolis – Among the highest-paid players in the Cowboys, quarterback Dak Prescott has job security, Amary Cooper’s wide reception And a defensive end apparently not DeMarcus Lawrence either.
As team officials get closer to releasing Cooper, who will receive $20 million in guaranteed base salary if he’s on the list on March 20, Lawrence is in a different position.
Lawrence is the Cowboys’ best and most expensive passing rusher, set to make $19 million in 2022, the team’s second-highest salary. However, several sources said the team asked Lawrence for a pay cut, which he refused.
Usually when a player refuses to cut his salary, he will be released soon.
In 2014, soon-to-be Cowboys officials asked outfield linebacker DeMarcus Ware to ask for a pay cut, which he refused. Ware was eventually released. It was one of the toughest decisions he had to make, said Jerry Jones, Cowboys owner and general manager.
When it comes to Lawrence, Jones has another hard decision.
After back-to-back Pro Bowl seasons in 2017 and 2018 where Lawrence complied with 25 sacks, production hasn’t been the same.
In the past three seasons, Lawrence has 14 sacks and 33 quarterback strokes. He played only seven games last season due to a broken bone in his foot.
However, when he plays Lawrence, he has a dynamic presence.
He’s taking the pressure off fellow defensive tackle Randy Gregory by facing the double squad and the emergence of talented full-back Micah Parsons is partly due to what Lawrence brings.
The Cowboys appreciate Lawrence’s ass-handling skills in a running game and his constant thrust forward when passing.
He also became a mentor to Parsons on and off the field, which Cowboys officials embrace. But the business side of the NFL dictates the departure.
“We screen every player on our roster,” said Stephen Jones, executive vice president of the Cowboys of the National Scouting Combine. “I know [the media] You might target guys you think we might be looking at, and those are usually the ones who make the most money. This comes with making money, unfortunately in this league. Does the value exist? We will definitely work through that.”
With Gregory being an unrestricted free agent, the addition of Lawrence’s firing creates a gap in a defensive unit that was impressive in the 2021 season.
If the Cowboys cut Lawrence and re-signed Gregory, that raises a question.
Are the Cowboys a better team with Gregory and Dorance Armstrong (another unrestrained free agent than the Cowboys) on the defensive end, say Lawrence and Gregory? Or maybe Lawrence and Armstrong? Will the Cowboys draft another defensive end and pair him up with Lawrence?
It seems unreasonable to do something like this, but the Cowboys being close to $25 million above the salary cap has created these problems. Dallas will go to the top, but how they achieve that affects the roster, especially one of its highest-paid players.
Cutting Lawrence brings in $19 million in savings for 2022 and generates $19 million in dead money spread over the next two seasons.
Does it make sense to release one of your most productive players?
Cowboys have 21 unrestricted free agents on the list And yes, team officials want every player back. This is not realistic.
Having plenty of room to re-sign the majority of these players is important and can happen through contract restructuring and the release of veterans like Cooper and Lawrence.
“We just have to make some decisions,” said Stephen Jones. “Some strong players but I think unfortunately if we lose a couple of good players we hope to continue to do a good job with our drafting process and looking for value in free agency so we can craft the way we’ve been drafted historically and it’s not based on needed but on the basis of the best available player.”
Lawrence and his family want to stay in Dallas. It seems to fit him naturally. If the Cowboys release him by thinking he can come back, people close to the defensive end believe he’ll get a high salary in the open market for teams that need a striker.
When it comes to Lawrence, he’s among the highest paid in his position, and now his tenure with the franchise he wants to stay with is thin.
Highest salary cowboy
|player||position||2022 – Basic Salary|
|Duck Prescott||QB||20 million dollars|
|Amary Cooper||WR||20 million dollars|
|De Marcus Lawrence||DE||19 million dollars|
|Tyrone Smith||LT||$13.4 million|
|Ezekiel Elliot||RB||$12.4 million|
Top cowboy characters
|player||position||2022 salary cap number|
|Duck Prescott||QB||$34.4 million|
|De Marcus Lawrence||DE||27 million dollars|
|Amary Cooper||WR||$22 million|
|Zach Martin||RG||$20.1 million|
|Ezekiel Elliot||RB||$18.2 million|
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