Dallas Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence will see a familiar face across from him against the Atlanta Falcons on Sunday.
Lawrence and Falcons right tackle Ryan Schraeder played together for a season at Butler Junior College in El Dorado, Kansas. The 2010 Grizzlies – with Lawrence on the scout team and Schraeder starting – reached the NJCAA championship game.
Schraeder went on to play at Valdosta State and has had quite a journey from undrafted free agent to starting right tackle for the Falcons. He signed a five-year, $31.5 million extension last November.
“Schraeder got paid? Schraeder needs to give me some of that money because I used to go against him everyday in junior college,” Lawrence said, smiling. “I mean, it’ll be a blast to play against him again.”
Lawrence is headed to his own pay day this offseason. He is leading the Cowboys and ranks second in the NFL with 10.5 sacks. He’s the first Cowboys player to register double-digit sacks since Jason Hatcher had 11 in 2013.
But Lawrence fondly recalled his junior college days going against Schraeder. Butler also had future NFL players in quarterback Zach Mettenberger and defensive lineman Cornellius Carradine.
“We had a squad,” Lawrence said. “Having to go against [Schraeder] everyday just made me better.”
But don’t expect Lawrence to talk too much trash to his former teammate. Lawrence said he knows how to talk it when he wants to, but refrains for the most part.
“I’ve got to stay focused,” Lawrence said. “Once I get in your head, that’s when I’ll start talking to you.”