It looks like DeMarcus Lawrence might not be playing out the 2019 campaign on a franchise tag after all.
According to Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk, Lawrence and the Dallas Cowboys are getting close to an agreement on a new contract.
The Cowboys had placed a franchise tag on the defensive end, which would have paid Lawrence $20.5 million next season before he hit free agency. But now, if Lawrence does agree to a long-term contract, he could make more money up front, and the Cowboys would not have to worry about losing him next offseason.
Lawrence is coming off of a 2018 campaign in which he racked up 64 tackles, 10.5 sacks, an interception, a couple of forced fumbles, and a fumble recovery en route to a Pro Bowl appearance.
The 26-year-old, who played his collegiate football at Boise State, was originally selected by Dallas in the second round (34th pick overall) of the 2014 NFL Draft.
His NFL career got off to a slow start, as he played in just seven games during his rookie season, but he had a big year in his second season, totaling 55 tackles, eight sacks, and a forced fumble.
Injuries then limited Lawrence to just nine games in 2016, but in 2017, Lawrence broke out, registering 58 tackles, 14.5 sacks, four forced fumbles, and a pair of fumble recoveries, making the Pro Bowl as a result.
The Cowboys won 10 games and captured the NFC East division title this past season. They then went on to defeat the Seattle Seahawks in the Wild Card Round of the playoffs before falling to the Los Angeles Rams in the Divisional Round the following week.