Was DeMarcus Lawrence overpaid?
By David T. Shinn II
Well, the dust has finally settled. DeMarcus Lawrence is set to be paid as one of the top pass rushers in the NFL. Cowboy’s fans can let out a collective sigh; no Le’Veon Bell situation will happen in Dallas. According to D-Law, that wasn’t going to happen anyway. The 5 year deal worth $105 million dollars ($65 million guaranteed) will pay Lawrence the most money ever for a Non-QB in the first two years ($48 million). Now that the deal is done, the question is, was the dynamic pass rusher overpaid? The answer to that question is subjective but there are several variables to consider.
For starters, you cannot deny that Lawrence has been extremely productive, and disruptive at that. Statistically, he is up there with the best in the league. Over the last two seasons, he has more sacks (25) and more TFL (29) than arguably the best edge rusher in the league; Khalil Mack has 23 sacks and 25 TFL, respectively. What about QB hits? Oh yeah, Lawrence (49 QB hits) is ahead of Mack (40 QB hits) there too. OK, some might say “Well they play two different positions. Mack is an OLB.” Fair enough. Lawrence’s numbers compare with one of the top DE’s in the league too: Chandler Jones (30 sacks, an absurd 41 TFLs, and 51 QB hits the last two seasons). D-Law doesn’t just excel as a pass rusher either. He is known for being a stellar run defender as well.
I don’t really understand why intangibles are not often talked about when discussing player contracts. You can be the best player on the field but still be a distraction. (Terrell Owens. Antonio Brown. Odell Beckham. Do I need to say more?) D-Law’s career to this point hasn’t been picture perfect. He broke his foot as a rookie and played only 7 games without registering a single sack. Next up, a back surgery, a suspension for amphetamines, and another back surgery. Despite all that, he has continued to mature into the leader and top pass rusher that he is today. Remember last season, when the 6-5 Dallas Cowboys had to go into New Orleans and beat the highest scoring team to keep their playoff hopes alive? Nobody gave Dallas a chance to win that game. Lawrence had something to say about it and he backed up his comments with a stellar performance. Plain and simple, Lawrence is the type pass rusher every team wants. A nasty, disruptive, war daddy of a defensive end that is a leader of men. If you ask me, he is worth every penny of the contract he got. What do you think?
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