How Does DeMarcus Lawrence Differentiate Himself From Other Defensive Ends?

After a productive game from DeMarcus Lawrence against the Lions, what does the Cowboys' coaching staff say sets him apart from other defensive ends?

The Dallas Cowboys pulled off the win against the Detroit Lions, and although the defense shines bright, DeMarcus Lawrence stood out among the unit.

Even though Dallas’ defense allowed Detroit to drive the ball down the field and into the end zone with less than two minutes left, it’s the fight they showed consistently throughout the game. The Cowboys’ defense held the Lions to 19 points and had four pass deflections, two interceptions, and one sack.

With the run defense being a weakness for the Cowboys’ defense, they bounced back in the game, only allowing 125 rushing yards from the Lions’ offense. One of the most significant contributing factors to the Cowboys’ run defense was the tackling and containing the edges throughout the game.

What Sets DeMarcus Lawrence Apart?

Although Lawrence’s stats don’t jump off the page regarding the number of tackles he made in contributing to improving the run defense, it doesn’t define his game.

He had one of the best games of anyone on the team, looking like a vintage version of himself as he took control of the A, B, and C gaps.

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Cowboys head coach Mike McCarthy says Lawrence plays at a high level — rushing the passer and creating pressures and sacks — but his tenacity stands out the most.

Meanwhile, defensive coordinator Dan Quinn says Lawrence knows when to make a unique play.

This was shown multiple times during the game, as three of his tackles were made on crucial third-down plays.

“If there’s a big-play meter in the run game, I know I’d want to put [Lawrence] into it because he is usually where it goes down. He’s made incredible plays for us on third-down stops and fourth-down stops, so he’s finding his own way to impact the games, and it’s been really cool to see,” said Quinn.

Dallas’ DC says Lawrence is an instinctual player who has seen much football, making him hard to fool.

But on the flip side of that experience, he says Lawrence knows when to “take a shot” in short-yardage situations. This is defined by Lawrence having information that allows him to make a play. Lawrence’s anticipation sets him apart from others in knowing when the time is right to take that shot.

“It’s hard to teach that,” said Quinn, adding, “But you teach the looks, and this could happen, but he can make it come to life.”

Lawrence Leans on His Football Fundamentals

After the game, “Tank” discussed the win and said it was about the defense getting back on track from their back-to-back losses against the Buffalo Bills and Miami Dolphins.

His message for ensuring the run game didn’t feel a drop-off this week was, “I love the trenches. I was born in the trenches. I will always be in the trenches.”

As for the work he put into improving the run game, he said it comes from trusting in the fundamentals of his game.

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“Trusting in my technique, trusting in my fundamentals, and also trusting into the game plan that we just designed throughout the week. The calls lead us to make plays. We just gotta go out there and do it,” said the 10-year veteran.

Tank has a chance to help his team take over the NFC East with a win on Sunday against the Washington Commanders, which would lead them to become the second-seeded team in the NFC.

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