Dallas Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence faces a four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy, a source confirmed.
Lawrence has appealed, and he and the Cowboys await a final verdict. But the team is preparing for the third-year pro to miss the first four games of the 2016 season.
A four-game suspension means Lawrence already served a four-game fine after an initial positive test.
ChatSports first reported Lawrence’s pending suspension, saying Lawrence tested positive for amphetamines.
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Lawrence won’t be the only Dallas player watching on TV as the Cowboys begin the season.
Earlier this off-season, the NFL notified defensive end Randy Gregory that he will miss the first four games of the regular-season for violating the substance abuse policy.
That leaves the Cowboys with an even bigger need at defensive end. They had only 31 sacks last season as a team as it was, with defensive ends contributing only 18. Lawrence led the team with eight in a breakout second season.
The Cowboys signed restricted free agent Benson Mayowa from the Oakland Raiders and re-signed Jack Crawford. But they still are thin at defensive end, which could make their decision for them with the No. 4 overall choice.
Ohio State defensive end Joey Bosa likely will be available when Dallas drafts. The position he plays make him a bigger need for the Cowboys than cornerback Jalen Ramsey or running back Ezekiel Elliott.