Cowboys owner Jerry Jones compares contract negotiations with DE DeMarcus Lawrence to Emmitt Smith in 1993
Defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence finally got the bag he has been wanting for the past two years.
And the Cowboys got their war daddy pass rusher locked up for five years. More importantly, he will be signed in time to have surgery on his torn labrum, so he can be ready to go in 2019, when he will get an NFL record for money in cash for a non-quarterback.
All totaled, Friday was a historic day for Lawrence and the Cowboys, who agreed on a five-year, $105 million contract extension, per sources.
Lawrence, 27, will get $31.1 million in 2019. He will get $48 million and $65 million over the first three years of the deal.
Lawrence got a $25 million signing bonus and $65 million in guaranteed money, the most ever in team history.
What a difference a week makes.
Vice president Stephen Jones said at the NFL owners meeting on March 26 that the two sides were at an impasse.
But the Cowboys and Lawrence’s agent, David Canter, recently resumed talks, offering hope of coming to an agreement sooner rather than later.
Both took to Twitter on Friday expressing their happiness.
It was important for the Cowboys to get something done with Lawrence as soon as possible, considering he has forgone surgery to repair a torn labrum until a contract is signed.
Recovery from the surgery is expected to take three to four months, which would have made his availability for the start of the season in jeopardy if a deal wasn’t done in the next few weeks.
If the goal was to get him signed, then the goal was also to make sure he was ready to go and available to be at his best for all of 2019.
Mission accomplished for the Cowboys and Lawrence.
Lawrence was simply focused on getting a market value deal after playing on the franchise tag of $17.1 million in 2018 and proving himself with a second straight trip to the Pro Bowl.
Lawrence, a second-round pick 2014 out of Boise State, has blossomed into one of the league’s top pass rushers. He has 25 sacks and six forced fumbles in the past two seasons and is the undisputed leader of the Cowboys defense.
The Cowboys placed a second franchise tag on Lawrence, guaranteeing him $20.5 million in 2019. Lawrence had until July 15 to sign the tag, though he stated he had no plans to do so.
The Cowboys initially offered Lawrence a multi-year deal averaging $17 million per season before coming to $20 million.
Lawrence was seeking a deal close to the $23.5 million per season defensive end Khalil Mack got from the Chicago Bears.
Lawrence’s $65 million in guaranteed money is the fourth-most given to a defensive player, trailing Mack, Aaron Donald of the Los Angeles Rams and Von Miller of the Denver Broncos.
Mack’s six-year, $141 million contract with the Bears last August included $90 million in guarantees. Donald got $87 million guaranteed and Miller’s deal included $70 million guaranteed.
Again, Lawrence got $65 million and more money than any non-quarterback in the first year.
With Lawrence off the table, the Cowboys can now turn their attention to getting extensions done for quarterback Dak Prescott, receiver Amari Cooper and possibly running back Ezekiel Elliott.