New Trade Rumor Points to Cowboys Landing Lawrence Replacement

Michael Brockers

Getty Michael Brockers celebrates on the field with the Rams in 2018.

With DeMarcus Lawrence on the shelf for the foreseeable future and 19 days until the NFL trade deadline, the Dallas Cowboys may make a move to bolster their defensive line.

That move, speculated Bleacher Report’s Alex Ballentine, centers around a potential deal for Detroit Lions lineman Michael Brockers, who can play inside or outside and would represent a significant upgrade to Dallas’ current personnel, including third-round rookie DT Osa Odighizuwa and veteran free-agent addition Brent Urban.

“The interior of the defensive line isn’t anchoring a nasty run defense either,” wrote Ballentine, who was also critical of the Cowboys’ sagging sack totals. “They are giving up 4.2 yards per carry, which puts them 14th in the league. Rescuing Michael Brockers from the depths of Detroit Lions football could be a move that helps them in both regards. … The Lions should be looking to sell come deadline time, and they could have just the right player for the Cowboys.”

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Background on Brockers

The No. 14 overall pick of the 2012 draft, Brockers has accumulated 409 tackles (259 solo), 50 tackles for loss, 63 quarterback hits and 29 sacks across 10 professional seasons split between stints in St. Louis (Los Angeles) and Detroit.

Brockers, who turns 31 in December, is in the midst of his first year with the Lions, traded from the Rams this past offseason for a 2013 seventh-round choice. He’s totaled 14 tackles, two TFLs, one QB hit, and one sack through his first five games in the Motor City.

For comparison’s sake: the aforementioned Osa Odighizuwa has 11 tackles (six solo), three TFLs, eight QB hits, and two sacks over the same five-game period. A college DT, he’s thrived at DE under Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn, who’s come away impressed by the UCLA product.

“I’ve been pleased with where he’s at and I think the arrow is just going up for him because he does have quickness like a defensive end,” Quinn said in late September, via the official team website. “That’s why we moved him down inside and that’s what he showed in college. Now it’s a matter of taking some of those skills and turning it into what we think he can be.”

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Lawrence Out for ‘Month-Plus’

The Cowboys’ $105 million pass-rusher broke the fifth metatarsal in his foot during a September 15 practice and will “probably” miss another “month-plus,” team vice president Stephen Jones recently revealed. Jones, too, echoed that prognosis for sophomore DT Neville Gallimore, who remains on injured reserve after dislocating his left elbow in August.

“The fortunate thing is we’re going to get him back,” Jones said of Lawrence on the “K&C Masterpiece” on 105.3 The Fan on Monday, October 11, via the Dallas Morning News. “It’s still a little early to start to pin down when it’s going to be, but it’s going to be several games past the bye before we’re going to get him back. But most people would agree he was probably our best defensive player before he got hurt, and it’s going to be great when we do get him back. We’re going to have to continue to weather the storm. We’re going to get Dorance Armstrong back after the bye, which will be great to have him back. And certainly have Trysten Hill and [Neville] Gallimore coming back. So, all these guys are going to be big pluses when they come back and look forward to having them back. Look forward to having them back. But Gallimore and DeMarcus Lawrence are going to take more time here, and it’s probably going to be a month-plus before we get them back.”

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Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL

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