Watching teammate David Irving and the rest of the defensive line create the pressure the Dallas Cowboys needed to preserve their 26-20 win over the Tampa Bay Buccaneers Sunday was a two-sided experience for injured defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence.
Lawrence is proud, but in a sort of foaming-at-the-mouth way.
“He’s a dog,” Lawrence said of Irving’s two sacks and five quarterback hits. “And they made some big stops. Dave [Irving], Maliek [Collins], the D-line, they were rushing their butts off [Sunday]. I’m just happy to be a part of this group, and I can’t wait to get back.”
Lawrence did not practice all last week with a back injury. He has been managing his back all season after undergoing surgery on it in the offseason. He played just 13 snaps in last week’s 10-7 loss at the Giants.
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“After the game was hell for me,” Lawrence said of the physical discomfort he felt after the loss in New Jersey. “They wanted to sit me down this game, let the inflammation calm down, so that’s what we did this week.”
Despite the pain Lawrence has had to deal with, Sunday’s win was the first the third-year pass rusher out of Boise State missed due to the back issue. He did miss the season’s first four games for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy.
Lawrence is arguably the most talented rusher the Cowboys’ have but he has only one sack in nine games. The coaches have credited him with 13 quarterback pressures, though.
Lawrence sounded hopeful that he could return for the Cowboys’ next game against the Detroit Lions on Dec. 26.
“I don’t know right now,” Lawrence said. “I’m just working with my trainers, working with the chiropractors, and hopefully I’ll be back next week.”
Matthew Martinez: 817-390-77660, @MCTinez817