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Demarcus Lawrence to Cowboys: “Your move”

Last offseason, the Dallas Cowboy's used the franchise tag on Demarcus Lawrence. Now, Lawrence has options and could even take the Le'Veon Bell route.

The Cowboys posted Friday on Twitter a video with highlights from the second Pro Bowl season of defensive end Demarcus Lawrence. Lawrence responded with a simple message for the team: “Your move.”

Indeed it is. With Lawrence having completed a one-year, $17.14 million contract, the Cowboys have three choices: Sign him to a long-term deal; apply the franchise tag again at a 20-percent increase ($20.56 million); or let Lawrence his the open market.

The last option is unlikely. Absent a long-term deal, the Cowboys likely will tag Lawrence again. (The transition tag would cost the same, with only a right to match and no compensation.)

Lawrence has options, too. If the Cowboys apply the franchise tag again, he could sit out the entire season (like Le’Veon Bell did), forcing the Cowboys to let him become a free agent in 2020 or pay him quarterback money under the franchise tag.

The man who racked up 10.5 sacks in 2018 hasn’t hinted at sitting out the full season, but Bell proved in 2018 that it’s a viable approach, if the goal is to dispense with the one-year contracts and reach for a multi-year megadeal.