Defensive end Demarcus Lawrence has established himself as a dominant force in the Dallas Cowboys defensive front the past two years, but the NFC East team is reportedly still "not close" to re-signing him.
Clarence Hill Jr. of the Star-Telegram reported the news, noting a deal is not expected by Tuesday unless there is an "unexpected miracle offer."
Tuesday's date (March 5) is notable because it is the deadline for the Cowboys to decide whether they will use the franchise tag on him for the second year in a row.
Blake Schuster of Yahoo Sports noted Lawrence "has expressed a desire to avoid the tag," but there is still no contract in place after his representatives met with the Cowboys brass in Indianapolis during the NFL Scouting Combine.
"It certainly was complete and everybody got to say what they wanted to say," owner Jerry Jones said of the meeting. "On things like this, you really don't know how good they were until you get it done or make a different decision."
Dallas selected Lawrence with a second-round pick in the 2014 draft, and he quickly tallied eight sacks in his second season. While he had just one sack in 2016 as he dealt with a suspension and decline in performance, he was a Pro Bowler in each of the last two seasons with 25 combined sacks.
A 26-year-old pass-rusher who puts up numbers like that is not someone the Cowboys want to let go as they look to defend their NFC East crown, especially since the depth chart is in question after Randy Gregory was suspended indefinitely for violating the NFL's substance-abuse policy.