OXNARD, Calif. – DeMarcus Lawrence has some lofty expectations for his rookie season.
The Dallas Cowboys defensive end says he’s looking for double-digit sacks in his first season.
"My expectation is to go out and get 10 sacks, 10-plus sacks," Lawrence said. "Whatever coach needs me to do."
What if they need him to be an impact pass-rusher beginning Week 1?
"Then that’s what I’m going to be," Lawrence, a second-round pick, responded without hesitation.
Lawrence was working with the second-team defensive line during Thursday morning’s walk-through practice. That doesn’t mean much, though. With his athleticism and size, Lawrence has the potential to be the team’s starting right defensive end.
That’s the starting position vacated by the departure of seven-time Pro Bowler DeMarcus Ware.
As he did during mini-camp and organized team activities, Lawrence fields a lot of questions comparing him to the former Cowboys star. But he says it doesn’t bother him.
"It’s a great honor to be compared to somebody like that," Lawrence said. "But it’s just the same name comparison. At the end of the day, he plays for the Broncos and I play for the Cowboys."
Lawrence’s learning curve will be aided greatly by the competition he’ll face every day over the next month. Pro Bowl left tackle Tyron Smith has already been a handful for the rookie. Lawrence is amazed by the former first-round pick’s footwork and array of moves.
His goal is to learn as much as possible from Smith and then apply it on Sundays.
"It’s going to be a long camp, but he ain’t doing nothing but preparing me for the season," Lawrence said. "If I’m going against the best, I already know what to expect. Then when I give my effort that I give against him every day, soon I’ll be the best."