During that span, the defensive end from Boise State made the Pro Bowl twice and was Second Team All-Pro once.
Lawrence finished the 2017 season with 58 tackles, four forced fumbles, 26 quarterback hits, and 14.5 sacks.
The year after, he had 64 tackles, 10.5 sacks, and one interception.
He’s one of the undeniable leaders of the young but talented Cowboys defensive unit.
Unfortunately, they will not have him for a while because he is on injured reserve after breaking his foot.
1 Game Played ✭
•Lose Zach Martin to COVID for Week 1
•Michael Gallup placed on IR with calf injury
•La’el Collins suspended 5 games
•Randy Gregory tests positive for COVID
•DeMarcus Lawrence breaks foot, out indefinitely pic.twitter.com/5k1tEpfRCn
— DC (@DylansRawTake) September 15, 2021
Lawrence broke the fifth metatarsal bone, which is around the flesh part of the foot.
He underwent a successful surgery which entailed placing a metal plate around to stabilize the bone.
The bone will take as early as six to more likely eight weeks to heal realistically.
Following that timetable, Lawrence can be back during their game against the Atlanta Falcons on November 14.
After their bitter defeat to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to open the 2021 NFL season, the Cowboys will have seven more games and a bye week before the Vikings game.
Those matches are crucial in establishing an early push for a postseason berth.
Therefore, they must find a way to replace his production during the games he won’t play.
Here are some options that Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn can explore to soften the blow of losing their top defensive player.
Move Micah Parsons To Defensive End
That depth gives them the luxury to put rookie Micah Parsons at left defensive end.
While Dallas’ strategy at linebacker may vary from each opponent, Parsons can be a placeholder until Lawrence returns.
He struggled in covering Rob Gronkowski during his NFL debut, but his speed will be an asset for the Cowboys.
— Dallas Cowboys Network (@TheCowboysNet) September 12, 2021
Parsons may not be the pass rush threat as Lawrence, but his speed will attract the attention of opposing offensive linemen.
Once he establishes the edge, the other linebackers can try to swarm the quarterback.
Smith and Vander Esch may also take turns at defensive end, given their experience.
However, Parsons is their best alternative if they need to speed up the pressure.
Go Through The DE Depth Chart
The Cowboys can also go through their depth chart at the defensive end because it’s impossible to get viable free agent pass rushers once the season starts.
Dallas can have Bradlee Anae or Dorance Armstong take over Lawrence.
Armstrong will likely take over Lawrence based on his skill set, and he wants to prove that his strong training camp is no fluke.
Meanwhile, Anae can be his backup or Randy Gregory’s replacement if the latter is still on the COVID-19/Reserve list by Sunday.
I asked Dorance Armstrong what it was like seeing his name in some many news articles this week ahead of his start Sunday on the defensive line … he laughed and said he searches himself after every game to see what people say. Since you are being honest…same Dorance 🤣
— Jane Slater (@SlaterNFL) September 16, 2021
Tarrell Basham and rookie Chauncey Golston might also see increased playing time in Lawrence’s absence.
However, the Cowboys hope that Golston’s hamstring concerns won’t return once his usage rate goes up.
Dallas needs to do just enough on defense to gather victories while Lawrence is out.