Cowboys News: DeMarcus Lawrence Activated from Injured Reserve After Missing 10 Games

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVDecember 2, 2021

Dallas Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence watches play from the sideline during the first half of an NFL football game against the Atlanta Falcons in Arlington, Texas, Sunday, Nov. 14, 2021. (AP Photo/Roger Steinman)
AP Photo/Roger Steinman

The Dallas Cowboys will have one of their best pass-rushers on the field for the first time since the season opener during Thursday's game against the New Orleans Saints.

The team announced it activated defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence from the injured reserve list and designated him for return Thursday.

Lawrence has not played since a Sept. 9 loss to the Tampa Bay Buccaneers because of a broken foot.

The Boise State product suffered the broken foot during practice after that season-opening loss and underwent surgery.

He had not missed any time since the 2016 campaign prior to the setback.

Dallas surely missed the two-time Pro Bowler's presence considering he makes life easier for every level of the defense. His tendency to draw double-teams opens up blitzing lanes for the rest of the line and linebackers, and cornerbacks do not have to stick with receivers as long when he is pressuring the quarterback.

Lawrence had 14.5 sacks in 2017 and 10.5 sacks in 2018 when he was at his best, but he was still solid last year with 58 tackles, 6.5 sacks, four forced fumbles and one fumble recovery.

His return also means the Cowboys will get to unleash defensive packages that feature Lawrence and rookie Micah Parsons, which will be a nightmare for opposing offenses.

"He's one of the best edge rushers in the NFL," Parsons said of his veteran teammate, per Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News. "He's dynamic. The energy he brings to the table is great. We're all very, very happy to have him back. …He's been hungry all year. He wanted a big year but the foot injury. I can't wait to see what he does."

The Cowboys are 7-4 and two games ahead of the Washington Football Team in the NFC East race. Lawrence's return will help them in their pursuit of a division title and deep playoff run.