Dallas Cowboys

Waiting game is wearing on suspended defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence

Suspended Dallas Cowboys defensive end Demarcus Lawrence can practice and play in preseason games, but will miss the first four games of the regular season.
Suspended Dallas Cowboys defensive end Demarcus Lawrence can practice and play in preseason games, but will miss the first four games of the regular season. mfaulkner@star-telegram.com

The disappointment of being suspended the first four games is settling in more and more for DeMarcus Lawrence as the regular season gets closer.

But the Dallas Cowboys’ defensive end remains committed to getting his work in throughout the preseason and being ready to go Week 5.

“I’m going to have a big impact,” Lawrence said. “It’s just about me working on what I need to work on. I’ve just got to do my job and make sure everyone is ready to do their job and we’re going to be a great group.”

Lawrence led the Cowboys in sacks with eight a season ago, registering seven in the final eight games. He has his sights on making an even bigger contribution this year.

But Lawrence knows he faces an uphill battle with a four-game suspension for violating the NFL’s substance-abuse policy.

Asked if the disappointment hits him more now with the regular season less than three weeks away, Lawrence said: “I think it already hit me. When I’m on the field, I don’t think about missing the first four, I just think about going fast.

"But when I’m back in here [the locker room], it’s like, ‘Dang, here it goes.’ I still try to keep a positive mindset and do whatever the team needs me to do to help out.”

That’s why Lawrence intends to spend his suspension at The Star. The NFL allows him to workout and participate in team meetings during his suspension, however, he will not be allowed to do any work on the field.

“I’m going to be here with my team where I’m supposed to be,” Lawrence said. “I’m going to get my work in as usual.”

Lawrence made his preseason debut Friday against the Miami Dolphins, but did not register a sack or tackle. He played a limited number of snaps as the team has taken a cautious approach after he underwent back surgery in the off-season.

But Lawrence feels he’s getting enough work and snaps and, as stated, will be ready to go in Week 5.

“Expectations are high right now,” Lawrence said. “Just have to keep going out there and working each and every day.”

Drew Davison: 817-390-7760, @drewdavison

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