POST-DRAFT PRESS CONFERENCE: DeMarcus Lawrence will help Dallas Cowboys bolster defensive trenches | Secret Call from War Room | 2nd round NFL Draft 2014
IRVING — A Dallas Cowboys team that patiently sat and let talent come to them to open the 2014 NFL Draft took a much different approach on the second night.
While the selection of guard Zack Martin in the first round was hailed as a sound approach, it increased the urgency to come out of Friday night’s proceedings with a defensive lineman who could make an immediate impact.
The Dallas Cowboys wasted no time addressing what owner Jerry Jones called an acute need. The team jumped from the middle of the second round to take Boise State defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence at No. 34.
“This was a need pick,” Jones said. “The need to have a player that either could put some pressure on the outside or a unique complement, give us two players that have to be blocked.
“He was the only one left on the board we saw that could draw two blocks. The question, in my mind, was just how much you pay for it.”
The team traded its second- and third-round picks (Nos. 47 and 78) to Washington to jump up 13 spots to select Lawrence. Washington responded by taking Stanford linebacker Trent Murphy and Nebraska guard Spencer Long with the two picks.
The Cowboys could have held those picks and had their choice of defensive tackle Timmy Jernigan or left defensive ends Kony Ealy or Scott Crichton in the third round. Defensive tackle Will Sutton and defensive end Kareem Martin were still available in the third round after Long was taken by Washington.
All of those players visited Valley Ranch and would have addressed the team’s defensive line deficiencies.
But none of those players line up at right defensive end. The Dallas Cowboys had Lawrence rated as the third-best pass rushing end in this draft behind Jadeveon Clowney and Anthony Barr. They gave him a first-round grade as a pass rusher and a high second-round grade overall.
That’s why they were willing to give up a third-round pick to acquire him, a price chief operating officer Stephen Jones concedes is higher than the draft value chart states.
“We really like him,” coach Jason Garrett said. “He’s a right end candidate for us. There are only a handful of right end guys in this draft. We felt like we needed to come up with an impact player in the front seven in this draft, and those impact players are high. They are the first- and second-round players.
“He’s got very good pass rush ability. He has a quick get-off. He can bend. He shows that he can get after the quarterback and make plays when you combine his sacks and tackles for loss. He’s just a very productive player over a two-year career over there in Boise.”
Defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli is an advocate. The Dallas Cowboys need him to provide the edge rush that was lacking last season.
“What we’re looking for is somebody that has first and foremost natural pass rushing instinct,” Jerry Jones said. “Not necessarily speed. Speed alone doesn’t get it. It’s got to be somebody that has a knack of bending, maybe a way a couple of techniques.
“Rod is high on this guy. Real high on this guy.”
Jones notes the irony of replacing one DeMarcus (Ware) with another. Lawrence isn’t as fast as Ware. But he’s stronger.
“It’s unfair to compare players,” Garrett said. “That’s not what we’re in the business of doing. We want to choose players who are our kinds of guys.
“He was the guy on the board who best did that for us. This was a way to improve in the front seven.”
No one expects Lawrence to come in and duplicate the kind of production Ware gave the Cowboys before his release this off-season. But Lawrence knows the comparisons are inevitable.
“I know it’s some big shoes to fill, but I’m going to work my butt off,” Lawrence said. “I’m going to do all I can to become the best and fill their shoes.
“I’m my own Demarcus. I don’t like this trying to be nobody else. I’m going to be me.
“I’m going to do it well.”
Courtesy: David Moore | DMN staff
IN THE KNOW
DeMarcus Lawrence | Position: Defensive end | College: Boise State
Pick: No. 34 overall (second pick in the second round) | Height: 6-3 | Weight: 251
Notable: Lawrence, one of the Dallas Cowboys predraft visitors, is an exceptional athlete who projects to be a right defensive end, replacing seven-time Pro Bowler DeMarcus Ware. In two seasons at Boise State, Lawrence recorded 20 sacks and 34 tackles for loss. Following high school, he played one season at Butler Community College, where he finished with 12 sacks and 19 tackles for loss. The Cowboys had Lawrence ranked as the third pass rusher on the their board, Jerry Jones said.
Quote: Lawrence on filling DeMarcus Ware’s shoes: “I know it’s some big shoes to fill, but I’m going to work my butt off and give it my all. I’m going to do all I can to become the best and fill those shoes.”
Courtesy: Jon Machota | DMN staff
Related Videos …
2nd/3rd Round Post-Draft Press Conference | 16:45 | Jerry Jones, Stephen Jones, and Jason Garrett discuss their move to trade up and selection of DeMarcus Lawrence, defensive end from Boise State. (Watch | Listen)
MEET YOUR NEW DRAFT PICK: Pro scouting report on Dallas Cowboys DE DeMarcus Lawrence | 2nd round NFL Draft 2014
Name: DeMarcus Lawrence | Position: Defensive End | College: Boise State
Height/Weight: 6-3/251 | Age: 21
Honors: Lawrence was named first-team All-Mountain West during both of his seasons as a starter for Boise State. He was named second-team All-America and first-team All-Jayhawk Conference during one season as a starter for Butler Community College.
Key stat: The impetus for Lawrence’s decision to enter the NFL draft was probably the fact that he lived in the opposing backfield last fall. He finished the 2013 season with 10.5 sacks and 20.5 tackles for loss for the Broncos.
How He Helps the Cowboys: Add Lawrence to the long list of pass rush prospects on the Dallas Cowboys radar. He would have to bulk up to join the defensive line rotation, but he could bring valuable depth to the defensive end spot. Lawrence probably isn’t rated as highly as other defensive end prospects we’ve profiled in this series, but the key is his availability. Top pass rushers like Jadeveon Clowney and Anthony Barr don’t figure to be in the Cowboys pick range at No. 16 overall, but Lawrence could potentially be had with their No. 47 pick. It’s doubtful he’d be a Day 1 starter, but he could blossom into a valuable pass rusher.
Scout’s Take: Plays with nice initial quickness. Uses a quick arm over move to get up the field. Will see him get double teamed at times but would like to see him disengage just a tick quicker. When he is one-on-one does a much better shedding the tackle and finding the ball. When he gets up the field, he can quickly retrace his steps. Will work to the edge and can get around the corner quickly. Will fight to work down the line.
Nice balance to chase the ball, plays on his feet. Will bounce off blockers. Will sometimes play as a standup guy. Has some initial pop with his hands. Had a tackle for loss on inside slant. Can get low to the ground to run around the corner. Works hard inside to get to the ball. Will chase to make play, can avoids blocks and burst to the ball. Shoved tackle out of way to shed for a tackle for loss against Utah St. Will try and spin to free himself, very active. Plays with a burst from the backside, quick off the ground, will rally to play. Used hands to shed. Really went after the ball.
Can hurry down the line. Held up at point. Can leverage the tackle, will fire his hands inside. Has some strength when he tackles. Oregon St tackle, tackled him on inside move. Can really run when it comes to chasing the ball, big fan of his ability to sharpen that corner. Plays that right end position that is key in this scheme. Like him a lot.
Courtesy: Bryan Broaddus | Football Analyst/Former NFL Scout
Related videos …
DeMarcus Lawrence Combine Workout
Watch Boise State DL DeMarcus Lawrence work out at the 2014 NFL Scouting Combine.
(Watch | No MP3)
DeMarcus Lawrence’s First Interview As A Cowboy
DeMarcus Lawrence: I’m Going To Put On A Show
THE COW-BOISE ARE BACK: Dallas Cowboys trade up and rope sack-artist DE DeMarcus Lawrence | NFL Draft 2014 – 2nd Round
IRVING, Texas – The wait wasn’t nearly as long or agonizing on Day 2 of the 2014 NFL Draft.
The Dallas Cowboys got in on the second round action early by trading their 47th overall pick and their No. 78 pick to Washington for the No. 34 overall pick. They used the selection on Boise State defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence.
The pick fills an obvious need for a right defensive end, vacated this spring by a sack artist of the same name – DeMarcus Ware. At 6-2, 251 pounds, Lawrence has been projected as a fit in several different schemes, but it’s evident Dallas will use him as a down defensive end.
Lawrence was a first-team All-Mountain West selection both of his seasons as a starter for the Broncos. He made a habit of getting into opponents’ backfields, as he finished the 2013 season with 10.5 sacks and 20.5 tackles for loss.
Before landing at Boise State, Lawrence was a junior college standout at Butler Community College in 2011. He led Butler as a redshirt freshman with 27 tackles for loss and 10 sacks. He had one season of eligibility remaining at Boise State when he declared for the draft.
This is the third Boise State defender the Dallas Cowboys have taken in recent seasons. Orlando Scandrick was selected in the fifth round, No. 143 overall, in 2008, and Tyrone Crawford was taken in the third round, No. 81 overall, in 2012.
RELATED: Dallas Cowboys had Lawrence ranked as third best defensive end
IRVING, Texas – Two days before the draft, Jerry Jones had no problems admitting his desire to “replace Ware” in this year’s draft.
Today, Jones and the Dallas Cowboys definitely replaced their “DeMarcus.” Only time will tell if he can fill the void of DeMarcus Ware.
But Boise State pass-rusher DeMarcus Lawrence will certainly get the chance after the Cowboys made a bold move in the second round, moving up from 47th overall to 34th in a trade with the Redskins, who also received Dallas’ third-round pick. So on a night that was supposed to be a four-hour trek of Day 2 in the NFL draft, it lasted about 15 minutes before Lawrence was picked, ending the Cowboys night rather early.
According to the Cowboys, who admit they have several needs they’d like to address, yielding a third-round pick to land Lawrence was worth it, simply because it fills a need.
Dallas Cowboys director of player personnel Stephen Jones even admitted they might have overpaid for the 34th pick, but did so with the fear of losing Lawrence, whom the Cowboys had rated as the third pass-rusher on their board behind Jadaveon Clowney and Anthony Barr.
“He was the last guy we really had in terms of the right-end spot,” Stephen Jones said. “We knew we might have to give up a little more than maybe the charts read out. That happens sometimes when you want a guy and we really wanted this guy. We didn’t want to lose him. We worked through the deal. We sweetened the pot a little bit and got the deal done.”
Lawrence was one of the 30 players to visit the Cowboys’ facility in Valley Ranch back in April. In fact, he met up with Tyrone Crawford, who left Boise State the year before Lawrence.
“I felt like the Cowboys liked me a lot, but in the draft you never know where they’re going to go,” Lawrence said. “I’m just thanking God for everything and thanking Jerry [Jones] and the staff for trusting me.”
The Dallas Cowboys had some interest in both Missouri defensive end Kony Ealy and Lawrence, who had the edge because of his ability to play the right side, while Ealy’s position isn’t as clear, with the potential to play left or right end, and maybe even inside at tackle.
“There are only a handful of right-end guys in this draft. We felt like we needed to get an impact player in this draft,” Jason Garrett said. “He’s got very good pass-rush ability. He can bend and get to the quarterback and make plays. We think a lot of him as a player. The skill-set he brings in. There are a lot of defensive end in the draft but only a few in this draft that can play the right end.”
Obviously, the natural comparison between Lawrence and Ware is inevitable because of the names and position. But owner/GM Jerry Jones said the two are different in how they attack offensive tackles en route to the quarterback.
“What we’re looking for is somebody that has, first and foremost, natural pass-rushing instinct,” Jones said. “Not necessarily speed – speed doesn’t get it alone. It’s got to be somebody that just has a knack, a bending, a certain way to maybe a couple techniques. Rod (Marinelli) is high on this guy, I mean real high on this guy.”
After two days of the draft, the Dallas Cowboys have added Notre Dame guard Zack Martin, who will likely step right in on the right side and now Lawrence, who has the chance to compete for a starting job as well.
“After the first two picks we wanted to end up with a starter and a player that could really impact rather than not impact on both fronts – offensive line and defensive line,” Jerry Jones said. “We had various combinations there. We obviously were probably thinking defense first and offense second. We basically have ended up with certainly one of the three options that we had, and we probably addressed a more acute position as a pass rusher then what we were going to do with ‘Willie’ (weakside) if we drafted a linebacker there. So we probably got a better fit here.”
By losing the third-round pick, the Cowboys end Day 2 with just two players instead of three, and currently drops their overall draft-pick total to 10.
Tomorrow (Saturday), the Dallas Cowboys have a pick in the fourth and fifth-rounds and do not have a sixth, before finishing off the seventh round with six picks. Three of those are compensatory picks and are not eligible to be traded.