The Cowboys will use the franchise tag on defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence, according to David Moore of the Dallas Morning News. That was expected all along, if the sides don’t come to agreement on a long-term deal before March 6.
The franchise tag would fully guarantee Lawrence $17.5 million in 2018 on a one-year deal, overthecap.com projects. But both sides want a long-term deal for Lawrence.
Lawrence, 25, had a breakout season with 14.5 sacks and 52 quarterback pressures in 2017. He answered owner Jerry Jones’ call for a “war daddy” pass rusher.
“To me, the only reason you use a franchise tag is to hopefully protect yourself if you can’t get a long-term deal signed that you like,” Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said at the Senior Bowl last month, via the Morning News. “That’s normally the route we like to go. Certainly we’re going to roll up our sleeves and see if we can do something with DeMarcus without having a franchise tag.”
The Cowboys still would have until July 16 to negotiate a long-term deal even if they apply the franchise tag to Lawrence.