What the DeMarcus Lawrence deal means for Frank Clark

Posted April 08, 2019

The deal includes $65 million guaranteed, ESPN's Todd Archer reports.

According to Rapoport, the two sides have already agreed on the basic parameters of the deal, with Lawrence receiving $65 million guaranteed. They didn't get close to a long-term deal past year. The Dallas Cowboys will structure the contract so they aren't taking that big of a year one cap hit.

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The two sides had until July 15 to reach an agreement, but the clock was ticking even moreso as Lawrence needs shoulder surgery. There was a strong likelihood that Lawrence, who turns 27 late this month, would have stayed away from the team without a contract.

The Cowboys' goal has been to re-sign their players and use free agency to fill holes without overpaying. He did not have a sack his rookie season, but has 34 the last four years, including 14.5 in 2017 and 10.5 last season. He had another double-digit season with 10 1/2 a year ago, and is considered one of the better run defenders among pass rushers.

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In an offseason in which the Cowboys have added veteran wide receiver Randall Cobb, traded for Pro Bowl pass rusher Robert Quinn and brought Hall of Fame tight end Jason Witten out of retirement, the addition of DeMarcus Lawrence makes the Dallas Cowboys a legitimate Super Bowl contender and an arguably runaway favorite in the NFC East. Quinn figures to start opposite Lawrence unless Randy Gregory is reinstated from his fourth substance-abuse suspension.

To recap: 2019 had been the second-straight year that the Cowboys had used the franchise tag on Lawrence.

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A second-round draft pick of Dallas in 2014, Lawrence has emerged as one of the NFL's most productive players at his position. In his career, he is fourth in the National Football League in sacks (25), tied for eighth in tackles for loss (29), tied for seventh in QB hits (49) and tied for sixth in forced fumbles (six). He closed the season with a sack in each of the final two games.