Defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence has been everything the Cowboys hoped he would be in what is essentially a contract year.
He is playing with the franchise tag of $17.1 million and earning every penny as he leads the Cowboys with 6.5 sacks, which ranks 13th in the NFL, as well as quarterback pressures and tackles for losses.
But he is also the team’s best run defender up front and the havoc he causes has opened opportunities for other players to get sacks.
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He has done his part in earning a long-term contract extension at the end of the season. The Cowboys will be glad to ante up and have him anchoring the line for years to come. There is no way they can let him go, especially with no other difference-making lineman on the roster.
The list of disappointments for the Cowboys is long but No. 1 with the bullet is quarterback Dak Prescott and the passing game.
The Cowboys knew they would struggle with an overhauled receiver corps, but no expected it to be this bad.
For Prescott, it’s not just the poor pass efficiency. It’s also the inaccuracy, the decision making and the turnovers that have truly set the office back through the first eight games. He has 21 turnovers in his past 16 games dating back to last season. He leads the NFL with 10 games with two or more turnovers.
And again it’s not so much the interceptions, but the fumbles.
He has five interceptions and four lost fumbles in 2018. Yet, he still has the backing of owner Jerry Jones, who said, ”Dak is our quarterback now and into the future without equivocation.”