Cowboys DE Lawrence: I try to be as violent as I can on field

ARLINGTON, Texas — DeMarcus Lawrence doesn’t have a problem with you describing him as a violent player. His style led to 20 sacks during his previous two seasons in college.

The Dallas Cowboys’ second-round pick is considered to have exceptional hands, and he’s not afraid to use them while perusing opposing quarterbacks.

"Football is a violent game, so I go in each and every day and try to be as violent as I can," Lawrence said Wednesday after an NFL PLAY 60 event at Pantego Christian Academy, "because when I look at the bigger picture, the next man is always going to try to be better than you. I go in every day ready to work and try to get better."

Lawrence’s nickname is ‘Tank.’ He said it was given to him by a childhood friend while they were wrestling. Cowboys defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli is hoping Lawrence can be a speeding tank coming off the edge at right defensive end.

Although Lawrence hasn’t spent a lot of time with his new 64-year-old coach, he’s aware of Marinelli’s successful track record with defensive linemen.

"He’s the guru," Lawrence said. "If I can stay with him for a long time, I’m going to be one of the smartest football players, ever."

After his first rookie mini-camp practice Saturday at Valley Ranch, Lawrence mentioned that he learned from another defensive guru while at Boise State. His college defensive coordinator Pete Kwiatkowski currently holds the same position at the University of Washington.

Kwiatkowski, who also worked with Cowboys defensive lineman Tyrone Crawford, spent the last four years as the Broncos’ defensive coordinator. He was the school’s defensive line coach from 2006-2010.

What did Kwiatkowski teach Lawrence?

"It’s not all about athletic ability," Lawrence said. "It’s about fundamentals and using your eyes and your keys. Doing that, it helped me out a lot, learning different formations and how to play football fast."

Wednesday marked the first time that Lawrence sported his No. 90 Cowboys uniform in public. He still has a long way to go before earning the star on his helmet, but he says he’s already feeling like a professional.

"Every day I wake up, everything is being a pro," Lawrence said. "How I treat my body, how I take care of myself, how I present myself, it’s all about being a pro."