Cowboys suffer another blow as DeMarcus Lawrence injury adds to pass-rush woes

With DeMarcus Lawrence suffering a mysterious injury, the Dallas Cowboys could be in for a long day against the Los Angeles Chargers.

Where will the Dallas Cowboys generate pressure from on Sunday when they face one of the best young passers in the NFL? Not from Randy Gregory, who is on the reserve/COVID-19 list and not expected to play Sunday. And not from DeMarcus Lawrence, who suffered a siginficant foot injury during practice Wednesday. Lawrence broke his foot, which means he will miss extended time.

DeMarcus Lawrence may be out vs. Chargers with foot injury

With just four days before Dallas faces off against Justin Herbert and the Los Angeles Chargers, Cowboys medical staffers spent Wednesday afternoon hustling to determine the severity of the injury. But X-rays determined Lawrence will not only miss the Cowboys’ critical next game, but several more beyond that.

According to NFL Network’s Albert Breer, the team believes the injury could keep the star pass rusher out for roughly two months.

“Will be Back & Ready for War,” Lawrence wrote on Twitter early Wednesday evening. “Believe it.”

Dallas is already 0-1, and even before the news, Vegas had already expected the Cowboys to go to 0-2 Sunday afternoon.

The line was LAC -3 earlier in the day, and now that Lawrence can’t go, the Cowboys’ chances only worsen.

Lawrence, 29, is a two-time Pro Bowler with 45.5 career sacks. But he hasn’t had 7+ in a season since 2018. He underwent offseason back surgery that held him out of the start of training camp. Nevertheless, he was available for the Cowboys’ season opener.

Lawrence forced a fumble but did not have a sack or even a quarterback hit in Dallas’ Week 1 loss to the Buccaneers. In fact, the Cowboys barely laid a hand on Tom Brady. Making matters worse, that anemic pass rush was at relatively full strength. The Cowboys won’t be near that against the Chargers.

Without Lawrence, the Cowboys are thin at pass rusher

Gregory tested positive for COVID-19 this week, and the Cowboys aren’t counting on him to be available Sunday.

“If you look at the history, it’s been 10 days, pretty much, (with) everybody we’ve dealt with in the COVID protocol. We’ll just see how it goes,” head coach Mike McCarthy said earlier Wednesday.

Before the Lawrence news, the Cowboys at least had a manageable situation at defensive end. Dorance Armstrong was in line to take most of Gregory’s reps, and despite just 3 tackles for loss during a young career spent mostly on special teams, he’s at least a known quantity for defensive coordinator Dan Quinn.

However, now that Lawrence can’t go, it’ll be Armstrong and (presumably) Tarell Basham off the edges. Basham produced 86 tackles and 7.5 sacks in a career spent with the Colts, Jets, and Cowboys. Bradlee Anae, a fifth-round pick out of Utah in the 2020 NFL Draft, will also be in the mix.

Adam Beasley is the National NFL Analyst and Insider for Pro Football Network. You can read all of Adam’s work here and give him a follow on Twitter @AdamHBeasley.