DeMarcus Lawrence has already posted more sacks in three games than anyone on the Dallas Cowboys had a year ago.
Lawrence continued his strong start Monday night, sacking Arizona Cardinals quarterback Carson Palmer three times. Lawrence has 6.5 on the season and is just the third player in NFL history to register more than one sack in each of the opening three games along with Mark Gastineau and Hall of Famer Kevin Greene.
To put it more perspective, Benson Mayowa led the Cowboys with six sacks last season.
“It’s great, but I ain’t got time to sit here and praise myself,” Lawrence said. “I’ve got to give thanks to my back row even though they’re a young group. They be balling and buying me time up front and my coaching staff and my D-line. It’s just been a great start and we’ve just got to keep it going.”
Lawrence could have had a four-sack night but a would-be sack was wiped away because of a penalty by linebacker Sean Lee.
But Lawrence had no complaints as the Cowboys bounced back with a 28-17 victory, and the pass rush made a much-needed impact.
Along with Lawrence, defensive tackle Maliek Collins had two sacks and Tyrone Crawford got his first sack of the season.
“It was great. It looked like a rush front now,” Lawrence said. “It feels pretty good to be a part of it.”
Lawrence reiterated that he is off to such a strong start because he is finally healthy. Lawrence battled back injuries much of last season, and underwent a back surgery for this off-season.
“I’m healthy and I’m myself,” Lawrence said. “I’m always rushing. It might not look like it, but just turn on the film.”
Lawrence leads the league with 6.5 sacks, but knows it’s a long season. He also knows teams might not give him many opportunities to go one-on-one against a tight end.
One of his sacks Monday came when Arizona had tight end Jermaine Gresham blocking him, and Lawrence blew by him.
Asked if teams will still try and block him with a tight end, Lawrence smiled and said, “I take the free money. I ain’t going to complain, but you never know. Some people are bold and stubborn. It’s whatever.”
Regardless, Lawrence’s play isn’t going unnoticed in the locker room.
“He’s balling. Balling,” Collins said. “Definitely deserves it. The way he’s rushing, he’s just staying on it. He continues to do it every snap. I’m proud of him for that.”
Added linebacker Sean Lee, “He had three? Wow! He has been unbelievable. I’m excited for him. I think I took one away from him. He should have had four. So excited for him. He is healthy. We knew the type of player he was. To see him healthy is fun to watch.”