Stephen Jones: Cowboys Will Tag DeMarcus Lawrence If Long-Term Deal Isn't Done

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistFebruary 23, 2018

Dallas Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence (90) rushes in against the Atlanta Falcons during an NFL football game, Sunday, November 12, 2017, in Atlanta. The Falcons won 27-7. (Jeff Haynes/AP Images for Panini)
Jeff Haynes/Associated Press

DeMarcus Lawrence can become an unrestricted free agent next month, but the Dallas Cowboys don't intend to let their star defensive end hit the open market.

Per ESPN's Todd Archer, Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said the team will place the franchise tag on Lawrence before the March 6 deadline if a long-term deal can't be agreed upon. 

"We won't let D-Law not be a Dallas Cowboy next year," Jones said.

Lawrence intends to use his leverage following a dominant 2017 season to pursue a lucrative long-term extension with the Cowboys. 

Per NFL Network's Tom Pelissero, Lawrence will be seeking a deal worth $17 million per season when his camp meets with Cowboys management at the NFL scouting combine next week. 

Pelissero specifically noted Olivier Vernon's five-year, $85 million contract with the New York Giants two years ago as the jumping off point for Lawrence, who shares an agent with Vernon. 

Originally drafted 34th overall by the Cowboys in 2014, Lawrence had his best season last year. The 25-year-old started all 16 games for the first time and tied for second in the NFL with a career-high 14.5 sacks. 

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