IRVING, Texas – The Dallas Cowboys managed to get all nine draft picks signed a month before leaving for training camp.
Second-round pick DeMarcus Lawrence was the final Cowboys player to ink his deal.
How Lawrence performs during the length of his four-year deal in Dallas will be closely monitored, given the fact that the Cowboys surrendered a third-round pick to move up for the Boise State defensive end in a draft touted for its depth. Given the Cowboys’ various needs, that move signified how much they treasured the player.
The Dallas Cowboys had targeted Ohio State linebacker Ryan Shazier in the first round, but when Shazier went a pick prior to the Steelers, Dallas was happy to grab Notre Dame offensive lineman Zack Martin with the No. 16 pick in the first round.
That selection on offense meant the Cowboys needed to address their last-ranked defense soon, and they felt Lawrence was the last remaining player of an elite group of impactful right defensive ends. The Cowboys had him slotted as the third-best player at that position, behind South Carolina’s Jadeveon Clowney and UCLA’s Anthony Barr.
Dallas traded their 47th overall pick in the second round and their no. 78 overall pick in the third round to Washington to move up to No. 34 overall for Lawrence. He just happened to have the same first name as the departed superstar, DeMarcus Ware, who played the same position and left this offseason.
Lawrence finished 10.5 sacks and 20.5 tackles for loss last season at Boise State. The year prior, he posted 9.5 sacks, giving him a total of 20 in two seasons with the Broncos after transferring from Butler Community College.
It’s possible Lawrence starts this year as a rotational defensive lineman, but the Dallas Cowboys believe he has the potential to be a star pass rusher. He’ll be joining two other former Boise State defenders on the Cowboys’ defense in Orlando Scandrick and Tyrone Crawford.
The Cowboys took care of the deals of seventh-round picks Ben Gardner, Ken Bishop, Ahmad Dixon, Will Smith and Terrance Mitchell quickly, and with Devin Street, Anthony Hitchens, Martin and now Lawrence signed, Dallas has all of its draft picks signed before minicamp even ended.