Dallas Cowboys

Cowboys defensive end Lawrence is appealing suspension

Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence will appeal his four-game suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy, owner Jerry Jones said.
Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence will appeal his four-game suspension for violating the league’s substance abuse policy, owner Jerry Jones said. Star-Telegram

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said that defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence hopes to have his four-game suspension overturned or reduced, similar to what happened with cornerback Orlando Scandrick in 2014.

Jones has acknowledged that Lawrence was suspended by the NFL for the first four games of the 2016 season for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy.

Scandrick’s suspension for “popping a molly” on vacation in Mexico was reduced from four games to two games. A molly is a form of amphetamine known as MDMA, the main ingredient in Ecstasy.

“It’s under appeal,” Jones said Thursday morning on KRLD/105.3 FM The Fan about Lawrence’s suspension. “And it’s very similar to the [Scandrick] situation there when it was reduced from four to two.

“But I wouldn’t want to be presumptuous. It’s under consideration. You don’t want to tell them what to do. Let them look at all the facts and the entire situation, which is what is required and will be done, and then maybe we can get a reduction.”

Any type of reduction for Lawrence would help the Cowboys. They are hurting for playmakers at defensive end with Lawrence’s suspension to go along with a four-game suspension of Randy Gregory for multiple violations of the league’s substance-abuse policy.

The Cowboys also didn’t bring back defensive end Greg Hardy.

Lawrence is a budding the star, leading the team with eight sacks last season, including seven in the final eight games.

The Cowboys tried to address the position in the draft and free agency. The signed Benson Mayowa from the Oakland Raiders and re-signed Jack Crawford. The Cowboys also have high hopes for fourth-round draft pick Charles Tapper, who could open the season as the starter at right end in place of Gregory.

None of the other defensive ends on the roster has more than three sacks in a season. The Cowboys are considering moving tackle Tyrone Crawford to end in place of Lawrence, with third-round pick Maliek Collins opening the season as the starter at tackle.

Roster talk

Executive vice president Stephen Jones believes the talent acquisition business in the NFL is a year-round proposition.

However, he said he is not pressed to add anything to the roster. He is confident in what the Cowboys have accomplished in free agency and the draft and said the team is ready to go into the season with its current roster.

In addition to the uncertainty at defensive end, the Cowboys still have an unproven situation at backup quarterback behind Tony Romo. Kellen Moore and rookie draft pick Dak Prescott are the only viable options.

“Sure. We don’t feel like we need to [add anything], but we always have our eyes open,” Jones said. “At some point, I’m sure things will change, and if we see the right opportunity to improve our football team, we’ll do it.

“You know my old saying, 365 days a year you’re looking to improve. But do I think we could go play with everybody on this roster and get going and feel good about it? Yes. But you always look for ways to improve your team.”

Jerry on Jaylon

The Cowboys will not place rookie second-round draft pick Jaylon Smith on season-ending injured reserve, Jerry Jones said.

“Although we’ve got a redshirt for the most part, I will not IR him,” Jones said during Thursday’s radio appearance. “We will take the chance that he could get back at the latter part of the season, maybe into the playoffs. He will not be [placed on IR]. That obviously means we think he’s got possibly some play time [next season].”

The Notre Dame linebacker ranked among the top-10 prospects before he tore the anterior cruicate ligament and lateral collateral ligament in his left knee in the Fiesta Bowl on Jan. 1.

Smith also suffered nerve damage in the knee, leaving uncertainty about when, or if, the nerve will refire.

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