Cowboys Predicted to Move on From ‘Impact’ Veteran After Season

A longtime Dallas Cowboys veteran could be looking at his final season with the team.

As Blogging the Boys’ Matthew Holleran writes in his article listing three “impact” players who probably won’t be with the team in 2025, he mentions defensive end DeMarcus Larwnce as one of those veterans. The 32-year-old has been a member of the Cowboys during his entire career, dating back to when he was selected with a second-round pick during the 2014 NFL draft.

However, Lawrence will be entering the final season of his contract in 2024 and Holleran argues that the 2024 draft selection of Western Michigan edge rusher Marshawn Kneeland will eventually push Lawrence out the door.

“Lawrence has been a great Cowboy during his 10-year tenure in Dallas, but his 11th season this fall will likely be his last,” writes Holleran. “The Cowboys spent their second-round selection in this year’s draft on Western Michigan edge Marshawn Kneeland. The 22-year-old’s best trait is his excellence in stopping the run, and he profiles very similarly to Lawrence, albeit much less polished.”

Why Cowboys Could Move on From DeMarcus Lawrence

Outside of the second-round draft selection of Kneeland, another argument that plays in favor of the idea of the Cowboys moving on from Lawrence is how Dallas needs money to sign star edge rusher Micah Parsons to a new contract. Parsons is arguably the best pass rusher in the NFL and his next contract could be worth up to $35 million annually, with Nick Faria of Sports Illustrated mentioning how Parsons could ask for a five-year, $175 million contract.

“With Lawrence set to hit free agency after this season, Dallas will almost certainly slide Kneeland in at his spot, saving them considerable money at the position,” writes Holleran. “These savings could open up cap space to give fellow edge rusher Micah Parsons a long-term extension next spring.”

Considering Kneeland is a second-round draft pick, he’s earning just $6.8 million across four years. His cap hit for this season is just $1.2 million before jumping to a little over $1.5 million for the 2025 season. By comparison, Lawrence — who is a four-time Pro Bowler and former Second-Team All-Pro selection — is about to complete a deal where his cap hit is over $20 million for this season. Lawrence actually has the second-largest cap hit of any Cowboys player on the roster and has not earned less than $17 million per year since he played under his rookie deal.

DeMarcus Lawrence Remains a Top Player at His Position

As Holleran mentions, it’s not like Lawrence’s play is declining with age — he was actually the second-best run defender in the NFL last season at the age of 31. That means that Lawrence’s value and asking price will not go down much, barring a major decline during the 2024 season.

“The 2014 second-round draft pick was once again outstanding last year, playing in all 17 regular season games and being the second-best run defender in football, according to Pro Football Focus. Lawrence’s PFF run defense grade of 92.2 was the second-highest of his career, as was his overall defensive grade of 91.0,” writes Holleran.

Even if Lawrence remains a top defensive end for the 2024 season, that will actually work against the idea of him returning to the Cowboys for a 12th season in 2025.


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