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Cowboys News: DeMarcus Lawrence Taken off PUP List Amid Injury Rehab

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistAugust 20, 2019

Dallas Cowboys defensive end Demarcus Lawrence directs his teammates during a drill at the NFL football team's training camp in Oxnard, Calif., Saturday, July 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Michael Owen Baker)
Michael Owen Baker/Associated Press

Dallas Cowboys star defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence has been taken off the physically unable to perform list and will participate in individual drills Tuesday, according to Mike Garafolo of NFL Network. 

Lawrence underwent surgery to repair a torn labrum this offseason, though the goal remains to have him on the field for the team's Week 1 matchup against the New York Giants on Sept. 8. 

Lawrence, 27, signed a five-year, $105 million contract extension in April, making him one of the highest-paid defensive players in the NFL. He's earned that payday with his recent play, posting 25 total sacks over the past two years.

Pro Football Focus listed him as the fifth-best edge-defender in the NFL heading into the 2019 season, behind only Calais Campbell, Cameron Jordan, Von Miller and Khalil Mack, noting that "his two-year pass-rush grade (91.4) and two-year pass-rush win rate (19.4 percent) ranks fifth among the 60 NFL edge-defenders with 500 or more pass-rush snaps since 2017."

Getting Lawrence back in camp is excellent news for a Cowboys team still dealing with the fallout of running back Ezekiel Elliott's holdout over a contract dispute. Money is going to be a major theme for the next year in Dallas, with quarterback Dak Prescott, wide receiver Amari Cooper and linebacker Jaylon Smith—all key contributors—hitting free agency after the season. 

Prescott will almost assuredly get a long-term extension, while Smith will only be a restricted free agent, so at the very least, the Cowboys will receive draft compensation if they don't match any offers he receives on the open market. The team can also use the franchise tag to buy time in negotiations, but keeping this core together won't be cheap. 

Lawrence's blockbuster deal this offseason was a reminder of that.