DeMarcus Lawrence’s return to action is imminent.
Per NFL Media’s Mike Garafolo, the Dallas Cowboys‘ star defensive end will “soon” be removed from the Physically Unable to Perform list, where he’s lived for the majority of the summer after undergoing offseason shoulder surgery.
Lawrence is expected to practice on a limited basis upon his re-entry, with the Cowboys slowly easing him back in. But it appears he’ll meet his goal of being ready for the regular season opener against the New York Giants.
Lawrence was placed on the active/PUP list to open training camp. His procedure to repair a torn labrum, which he underwent in April, came with a four-to-six-month recovery period.
“The mobility and my strength is coming back naturally,” Lawrence said last month. “I’m working every day. I’m able to do things. I’m just still limited. Just taking my time. I’ve got time still.”
A 2014 second-round draft pick, Lawrence exploded onto the national scene in 2017, when he notched 14.5 sacks and four forced fumbles, earning Pro Bowl and second-team All-Pro honors. He took a minor statistical step back last year but still managed to log 10.5 sacks, two forced fumbles and an interception en route to another Pro Bowl. He scored impressive grades from Pro Football Focus: 88.0 overall and an 82.7 pass-rush rating while playing on the franchise tag.
The Cowboys rewarded Lawrence, 27, this offseason with a five-year, $105 million extension, which includes $65 million in guarantees — the most ever for a non-quarterback.
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Lawrence’s Ultimate Goal
The shoulder injury nearly behind him, Lawrence plans to put a dent in Broncos superstar Von Miller’s quest to become the NFL’s all-time sacks leader. Addressing the media at SportsCon in Dallas last month, he said he intends to race Miller to the historic finish line — and win, knocking Michael Strahan (22.5) from his single-season throne.
“My goal is to be the best that’s ever played this game,” Lawrence said, via ProFootballTalk.com. “For sure, I want to beat that sack record, make it my own, so he can talk about beating my record. I’m going to just wait until I get to the season and then worry about sacks.”
Lawrence is engrossed smack-dab in his prime and already established among the game’s premier quarterback-harassers. Provided he stays on the field and off the trainer’s table, D-Law indeed should push Miller for the league’s sack mark.
Backups in Play
With Lawrence and fellow starter Tyrone Crawford (PUP, hip) sidelined, and Dallas prepping for Robert Quinn to serve his two-game regular season suspension, the club is giving extended reps to DEs Taco Charlton and Kerry Hyder, who had a solid effort against the Rams, notching three tackles, two solo stops and a tackle-for-loss.
Charlton recorded two quarterbacks hits and a pass deflection. The No. 28 overall pick of the 2017 draft — an underachiever to this point — is battling to save his spot on the 53-man roster, which will be finalized Aug. 31.
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