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Cowboys “more comfortable” about long-term deal with DeMarcus Lawrence

Wild Card Round - Seattle Seahawks v Dallas Cowboys

ARLINGTON, TEXAS - JANUARY 05: Russell Wilson #3 of the Seattle Seahawks is sacked by Demarcus Lawrence #90 of the Dallas Cowboys in the first half during the Wild Card Round at AT&T Stadium on January 05, 2019 in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)

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Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence played out the 2018 season on the franchise tag, but didn’t have the same upset about that state of affairs that we’ve seen from other players.

Lawrence said that if he played well again, the Cowboys would have no choice but to sign him to a long-term deal in 2019 and it sounds like he was on to something. Lawrence followed up his 14.5 sacks in 2017 with 64 tackles, 10.5 sacks, an interception and two forced fumbles for the NFC East champ. He also stayed healthy for the second straight year after having back problems in the past.

Those developments led executive vice president Stephen Jones to say that Lawrence has shown the team what they needed to see to move forward with a new deal.

“I wouldn’t say we were a long ways apart; we were apart,” Jones said, via the Dallas Morning News. “Certainly DeMarcus has done his part to make us feel more comfortable. He put together now two back-to-back, double-digit sack seasons. Of course he’s a leader by example. ... Nothing’s changed in terms of my opinion, except for the better.”

That doesn’t mean that the Cowboys won’t tag Lawrence again in order to buy time for contract talks while ensuring that no one else signs their top pass rusher, but it does seem likelier that things will work out now that the team’s big questions have been answered.