Dallas Cowboys

Cowboys’ DeMarcus Lawrence explains why he told Giants fan no to autograph request

Demarcus Lawrence explains why he refused an autograph request from a child

Demarcus 'Tank' Lawerence gives his reasoning for not giving a young Giants fan an autograph.
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Demarcus 'Tank' Lawerence gives his reasoning for not giving a young Giants fan an autograph.

Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence is still astonished over the hoopla surrounding the way he turned a kid down for an autograph following Sunday’s game against the New York Giants.

Lawrence was approached by a kid wearing the jersey of Giants running back Saquon Barkley on his way to his car.

He looked at the kid, said “you got the wrong jersey on bro,” and kept walking.

It turned into a two-day social media frenzy that is still generating tons of conversation. Jorge Bautista, a Giants fan who lives in Allen and the father of 11-year-old Kamil Baustista, told TMZ that Lawrence should be reprimanded by the NFL for declining an autograph to his son.

“It kind of shocked me. I don’t think that was the first time I told somebody, ‘Hey bro, you’ve got the wrong jersey, get you a new jersey,’” Lawrence said Wednesday afternoon in the Cowboys locker room. “Tell your parents, for Christmas, you need a DeMarcus Lawrence – I mean, we’ve got more people on the Cowboys. We’ve got Jaylon Smith, we’ve got plenty – Dak Prescott. So you choose. It don’t have to be a DeMarcus Lawrence jersey, but we like the Silver and Blue.”

Lawrence joked that he was still salty about the game and his inability to tackle Barkley, who had 11 carries for 129 yards against the Cowboys. So that was a jersey number he didn’t want to see. He is lucky he didn’t get tackled, Lawrence said with a smile.

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But he also offered an apology, of sorts, of how he handled it and his dismissive attitude.

“I think what really turned people the wrong way is that I really wasn’t paying no attention and the sadness on the kid’s face,” Lawrence said. “I apologize to the kid. I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings. But things happen in life.”

Lawrence, however, refused to blame social media for making the situation go viral.

“Social media is for people to engage with others. So if it’s negative or positive, they still want to engage – you know what I mean,” he said. “It’s whatever people want to do on social media. I don’t try to go in too much with it, but just know: D-Law loves the kids. Don’t take too much offense with it, and it is what it is.”

Yes, Lawrence loves the kids. He had an event with the Boys and Girls Club at Main Event in Frisco Tuesday night and donated backpacks and school supplies to more than 90 kids.

But he believes the incident will one day be a life lesson to the young Giants fan. It may save his marriage one day.

“You can’t just walk around life and think you have the privilege of getting everything you want,” Lawrence said. “So when you hear ‘no’ you have to be able to accept that ‘no’ and move on. Maybe that ‘no’ led you to going to the next person and asking and you get their autograph.

“It’s just like a door-to-door salesman. You’re going to get some ‘no’s’ when you’re selling insurance at people’s door. They’re going to tell you, ‘no, no, no.’ You keep coming home to your wife with ‘no’ she’s eventually going to leave you, because you’re not bringing no money to the table, or food. It’s all about getting back out there and keep trying, bro. So if I see you again, you might get my autograph.”

Lawrence has learned his own lesson as well and promises to be more cordial if a Washington Redskins fan asks for his autograph when the Cowboys play at Washington on Sunday.

“I’m going to sign. I’m going to sign DeMarcus Keenum,” he said.

Case Keenum is the quarterback of the Redskins.

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Clarence E. Hill Jr. has covered the Dallas Cowboys as a beat writer/columnist for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram since 1997. That includes just two playoff wins, six coaches and countless controversies from the demise of the dynasty teams of the 1990s through the rollercoaster years of the Tony Romo era until Jason Garrett’s process Cowboys.