Cowboys, DeMarcus Lawrence getting closer to deal

Progress is being made in contract negotiations between the Dallas Cowboys and franchise-tagged pass rusher DeMarcus Lawrence.

NFL Network Insider Ian Rapoport and NFL Network's Mike Garafolo reported Friday that there is no longer an impasse between the sides, and advancement toward a long-term deal is escalating between the Cowboys and Lawrence's agent, David Canter.

The Cowboys slapped the franchise tag on Lawrence for the second straight season for $20.5 million in 2019. Sides have until July 15 to hammer out a long-term deal.

We don't often see sides deep into negotiations until closer to that date. Deadlines spur action, after all.

It's possible that Lawrence's potential need for labrum surgery, and the desire to put it off until a long-term deal is done, as Rapoport previously reported, could be one motivator for both sides to come to an agreement sooner.

Cowboys EVP Stephen Jones said last week there was an "impasse" in negotiations. Apparently, the sides have overcome some of those roadblocks.

There is still work to do, however.

On NFL Network's Up To The Minute, Garafolo called defined talks as "positive momentum," while Rapoport termed it "cautious optimism" a deal could get done in the near future.

Sides making progress toward a long-term deal in early April is likely a sign that the Cowboys' offer has reached the $20 million-plus per-year range, per Garafolo. The average annual salary on a long-term solution should land somewhere between the $20.5 million franchise tag figure and Khalil Mack's $23.5 million per year contract.

There are still strides to make before Lawrence signs a massive long-term deal, but even baby steps in April are a good sign.

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