Sources: The Cowboys are holding Lawrence to a new deal

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FRISCO, Texas – DeMarcus Lawrence has agreed to a $ 40 million three-year deal that includes $ 30 million guaranteed, sources told ESPN, in a new contract that will give the Dallas Cowboys a salary cap this year.

Lawrence’s future with the team had been in doubt with a salary cap of $ 27 million, and the cowboys had to find space just to get under the hood, but the parties were able to make a deal that will keep him in Dallas through at least 2024.

Lawrence’s $ 27 million ceiling would have been the fifth-highest hit of any defender in 2022. Instead, the ceiling under the new deal would be $ 14 million this year, then $ 26 million in 2023 and $ 16 million in 2024. He also receives a signing bonus of $ 12 million.

The Cowboys will now have more room to keep their own free agents, including safety players Jayron Kearse and Malik Hooker as well as defensive end Randy Gregory, who has received early interest from several teams, including the Denver Broncos and Indianapolis Colts, according to sources.

In 2019, Lawrence signed a $ 101 million five-year deal that included $ 65 million in guaranteed money. After adding an invalid year to the deal in 2020, the Cowboys tore up the last three years of the original deal in exchange for the new contract.

Lawrence is the heart and soul of the Cowboys’ defense. Since sending 14.5 and 10.5 sacks in 2017 and 2018, landing the franchise mark twice, he has had no more than 6.5 sacks in a season. He was limited to seven games in 2021 after undergoing foot surgery after the season opener. He finished with three sacks, five passes, an interception, two tackles for loss and two forced fumbles, with the coaches crediting him with 18 tackles.

Over the past five seasons, Lawrence has had the fifth-best pass-rush winning rate (24.9%), the fifth-best pressure rate (11.7%) and 206 pressures (seventh-best in the league).

The Cowboys hope to have Lawrence back with Micah Parsons (who had 13 sacks as a rookie) and Gregory (who matched his career with six sacks) by 2022 during Dan Quinn’s second year as their defensive coordinator.

Without the cap space Lawrence was given, it could have been harder to keep Gregory or have forced the Cowboys to make more moves on the roster.

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