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Dallas Cowboys lock up star DE DeMarcus Lawrence on five-year deal

By Connor Grott
Dallas Cowboys lock up star DE DeMarcus Lawrence on five-year deal
Dallas Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence (90) agreed to a five-year extension with the team Friday. The Cowboys previously placed the franchise tag on Lawrence. File Photo by Nell Redmond/UPI | License Photo

April 5 (UPI) -- The Dallas Cowboys and star defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence agreed to a five-year contract, the team announced Friday.

Sources told the NFL Network that Lawrence's deal is worth $105 million, with $65 million fully guaranteed. His contract includes the highest first-year payout for a non-quarterback. The previous record was Chicago Bears pass rusher Khalil Mack's $31 million payout in 2018.

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Lawrence, Mack and Los Angeles Rams star defensive lineman Aaron Donald are the only defensive players in the NFL averaging $20 million per season.

The Cowboys had until the July 15 deadline to work out a long-term extension with Lawrence. Dallas previously placed the franchise tag on the defensive end for the second time in March. He would have earned about $20.5 million in the upcoming season if he played under the tag.

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The 26-year-old Lawrence enters his sixth season in the league after back-to-back Pro Bowl selections. The Cowboys' defense ranked seventh in total defense and sixth in scoring last season with Lawrence's presence on the field.

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Since the beginning of the 2017 season, Lawrence is tied for fourth in the league in sacks (25) and tied for eighth in tackles for loss (29). He has the third-most sacks in his first five seasons in team history, trailing only DeMarcus Ware and Jim Jeffcoat. Lawrence is the first player since Ware to record double-digit sacks in consecutive seasons for the Cowboys.

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Dallas originally drafted Lawrence in the second round of the 2014 NFL Draft out of Boise State. In five seasons, he has recorded 197 total tackles, 34.0 sacks, one interception and two passes defensed.

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