Cowboys DeMarcus Lawrence fined for hit on Panthers QB Cam Newton
Lawrence made questionable contact with Newton on a third-and-long pass attempt on the Panthers’ opening drive last Sunday. Referee Walt Anderson penalized Lawrence, extending Carolina’s drive and giving the Panthers favorable field position they failed to capitalize on after running back Christian McCaffrey fumbled inside the five-yard line.
The penalty comes amidst greater league-wide focus on cracking down on excessive hits of quarterbacks after the NFL set new rules this season. There has been some amount of scrutiny over what hits are acceptable as teams adjust to these recent changes.
According to NBC Sports, Lawrence received a $12,154 fine for an illegal celebration last year, bringing his 12-month total to $30,208. The six-year player has spent his entire career in Dallas and will earn $17 million this season playing under a franchise tag. The Boise State product recorded 14.5 sacks last season and managed to get one against the Panthers along with six tackles and a fumble recovery.
Lawrence will likely take his first roughing the passer penalty of the year with a grain of salt, as he’ll be needed to lead their pass rush against the New York Giants this week. Favorable matchups with their offensive line may lead to a big performance from him.