Cowboys, DeMarcus Lawrence agree to $105M deal

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  • By Adam Maya NFL.com
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The stalemate is over and new standards have been set.

The Dallas Cowboys and defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence agreed Friday to terms on a five-year, $105 million extension with $65 million in guarantees, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport and Mike Garafolo reported, per sources informed of the deal.

That's the most guaranteed money ever for a non-quarterback. Lawrence's contract will include the highest first-year payout for a non-QB, sources tell Rapoport and Garafolo. The previous record for a defensive player was Khalil Mack's $31 million bill in 2018. Lawrence, Mack and Aaron Donald are the only three defensive players averaging more than $20 million per season.

The extension comes well before the July 15 deadline that would have put a second franchise tag ($20.5M) into effect. There had previously been an impasse between the Cowboys and Lawrence's representation, in part because of a disagreement over when the star pass rusher would have labrum surgery. Rapoport reported Dallas wanted that procedure done before locking up Lawrence long term; he wanted to wait until after he signed.

Rapoport reported on Saturday that Lawrence will now undergo surgery in the middle of the upcoming week. He is expected to sign his new contract Tuesday, NFL Network's Omar Ruiz reported, per a source.

Lawrence, who turns 27 later this month, is entering his sixth season and coming off consecutive Pro Bowl selections. His presence has been instrumental to a unit that ranked seventh in the league last year in total defense and sixth in scoring.

Since the beginning of the 2017 campaign, Lawrence is tied for fourth in the NFL 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's also sacked the quarterback on 3.0 percent of pass rushes during this span, which is the fourth-highest rate for those with 500 pass rushes, according to Next Gen Stats.

Lawrence has also reached rarified air among Cowboys. He has the third-most sacks in his first five seasons in team history, behind DeMarcus Ware and Jim Jeffcoat. He's the first Cowboy to record double-digit sacks in consecutive seasons since Ware achieved the feat in seven straight years (2006-12).

Dallas drafted the Boise State product in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft and saw him register eight sacks after becoming a full-time starter one year later. After outproducing his rookie deal, Lawrence played the 2018 season on the franchise tag. The Cowboys are now paying him to be one of the faces of the franchise.

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