OXNARD, Calif. (CBSDFW.COM) – Dallas Cowboys’ defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence isn’t taking his new contract for granted.
He believes there’s still much work to be done after signing his five-year, $105 million contract during the offseason.
When asked about how things have changed for him since the April signing, Lawrence said: “Bank account changed but football-wise, family-wise, [goal-wise]… nothing really changed.”
Even though he signed a rich contract, the 27-year-old said he doesn’t feel rich just yet.
“Once I signed, I’m like ‘Damn, I’m rich.’ But then again, it’s like ‘Nah, you’re not rich… you still got a job,'” he said. “Once I’m rich, then I won’t work no more. That’s the mindset I have each and every day… I’m never rich. I’m a grinder.”
Lawrence has been an anchor for the defensive front that’s caused trouble for opponents. In his last two seasons, he had 14.5 sacks in 2017 and 10.5 sacks in 2018. He made the Pro Bowl both those seasons.
In the NFL’s Top 100 Players of 2019, Lawrence ranked #45 on the list. He had a simple reaction to his ranking: “I’ll take it. I’ll take it for now.”
He was also asked how the defense can get to the next level and earn respect from all the other 31 NFL teams.
“We gotta hit. Anybody that lines up gotta understand the consequences of playing football with us. We gotta have that demeanor and that mindset every time we step on the field,” he said.
Lawrence is currently recovering from offseason surgery that repaired a torn labrum in his shoulder. He’s expected to be ready for the first regular-season game against the New York Giants.