Much acclaim is rightfully bestowed upon superstar linebacker Micah Parsons for all that he’s brought to the Dallas Cowboys defense in such short fashion.
The Cowboys have another standout pass rusher in their ranks, though, and he reminded everyone just how impactful he can be on Monday night.
Two-time Pro Bowler Demarcus Lawrence matched his career high with three sacks to key an overwhelming Dallas pass rush that battered New York Giants quarterback Daniel Jones in the Cowboys’ 23-16 victory.
Parsons came into Monday with four sacks, while Lawrence had none. That changed emphatically in one evening’s worth of havoc-wreaking by Lawrence.
“Feels great,” Lawrence told NFL Network’s Jane Slater after the game. “Me and Micah got a little bet going on, I feel like I was a little behind. The energy was up, my body felt good today, so I attacked it.”
In one game, Lawrence — who matched a career high set twice before — equaled his sack output for all of the 2021 season (in which he was limited to seven games). It was part of an all-out assault on Jones, who gained 79 yards on nine carries because he most often was running for his life.
The Cowboys sacked Jones five times, piled up 12 QB hits and tallied 17 QB pressures, per Next Gen Stats. Jones was pressured on a ridiculous 40.5% of his dropbacks, according to Next Gen.
Lawrence told Slater he’s got a bet with Parsons for who will finish the season with the most sacks. After Monday, Lawrence is trailing, 4-3. The veteran 30-year-old is in his ninth season with Dallas, having restructured his contract to stay with the club this past season. And while he’s looking to maintain his numbers and keep up with the young buck, he’s also happy to lift the rest of the defense.
“I gotta make sure I keep putting pressure on him,” Lawrence said. “[I] want all the guys to be the best they can be and also for myself, so we gonna keep competing.”
Lawrence had already posted his three sacks before he injured his left foot in the third quarter. After he was attended to on the field, Lawrence briefly left to the locker room but returned to the game with eight minutes to play and shrugged off much concern about the ailment.
“It was just a little irritated at the time,” Lawrence said. “Get a little rest and I’ll be alright.”
During Lawrence’s departure, the Giants recorded their only touchdown drive of the night.
As phenomenal as Parsons has been so far, Lawrence made sure to let everyone know he’s still making things happen for the Dallas D. He didn’t let it be known just what the winner of the bet would receive at the end of the season, but if Lawrence and Parsons continue their inspired play, the Cowboys are sure to be winners and opposing QBs the real losers.
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