Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence made only one sack in the first eight games. He has seven the past seven.
“It was just me cutting it loose really,” Lawrence said. “Just getting out there and just playing loose. It helps a lot. I feel like I was just tensed up, worrying about, ‘Dang, I’ve got to get this sack; dang, I’ve got to get to the quarterback,’ instead of just, ‘Do your job and just let it go.’”
Lawrence, a second-round pick in 2014, broke his right foot early in training camp last year. He missed nine games and didn’t record his first career sack until the playoffs when he had two sacks and a forced fumble and two fumble recoveries.
His eight sacks this season leads the team, leaving him only two sacks from his sophomore season goal of 10.
“He’s a guy that missed a lot of time in the early part of his rookie year,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. “I think since he’s been back, he’s gotten better and better and better. That’s really what we try to emphasize with all of our guys. He’s embraced the opportunity. I do think cutting it loose is important for all players, particularly for young players. If you’re asking me about the idea of the light coming on, sometimes players try to be right all the time. I try to do what the coaches ask me to do, and I try to make sure that 6-inch coach that’s on my shoulder; I’m satisfying him every play. And the biggest thing you’ve got to do is knock that guy off your shoulder, and you’ve got to trust yourself and your preparation and go play. You have to prepare the right way in order to do that to make that step. That’s typically the step that players take. That’s what frees them up to play to their best ability.”
Lawrence played right end last year. He plays left end this year.
“He can play either side,” defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli said. “He’s an athletic guy. Usually the right tackle isn’t as athletic as he is. The left ends are more powerful guys. He’s got strength, but he’s got the quickness. He’s done a nice job.”