DeMarcus Lawrence has not been idle during his two-month stay on injured reserve.
Talking to reporters Wednesday, Lawrence said he’s added 10 pounds of muscle to his 6-3 frame with the help of Cowboys strength and conditioning coaches Mike Woicik and Kendall Smith.
"Kendall and Coach Woicik helped me out a lot, just helping me being patient with the amount of setbacks," Lawrence said. "Just having me in the weight room, taking my focus off not being out there and trying to make me work hard."
Lawrence has been missing from the action since the end of July, when he broke his foot going against Tyron Smith in training camp. The Cowboys opted to put the rookie on short-term IR, which ruled him out for the first six weeks of the season.
He’s been able to practice with the team since Week 7, and he is now eligible to play this weekend against Arizona.
"I ain’t going to say they need me, because they’ve been doing it and winning games off of me not being there," Lawrence said. "I’d just say I’ll be a help to them when I get back."
Cowboys defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli has to be hoping that’s true. Dallas managed to sack Colt McCoy three times in the loss to Washington on Monday night, but even that success gives the defense just nine sacks on the year.
Lawrence, who was drafted No. 34 overall last spring as a pass-rush specialist, said he has high expectations for himself to help make a difference.
"I feel like I put pressure on myself, so it’s me going out there, maintaining my goals and my focus and really doing well. I think, and I know I can do it," he said.
The Cowboys have to make a roster move to bring Lawrence back to the active roster â something they have not done as of yet. Judging by the rookie’s regimen this week, though, that move could be coming soon.
While the rest of the team went through walkthrough on Wednesday, Lawrence worked off to the side with Marinelli and assistant defensive line coach Leon Lett to get ready.
"They’re just trying to help me out with the playcalls and make sure when I get out there, I know what’s going on â just playing football," Lawrence said.