Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence had surgery on his broken foot Thursday, according to head coach Mike McCarthy (Twitter link via Todd Archer of ESPN.com). The recovery will rule him out for the next six to eight weeks, but McCarthy believes Lawrence will be back before the season is through.
The Cowboys will probably place Lawrence on short-term injured reserve, enabling them to add a healthy player to the roster while he heals up. The league’s short-term IR allows players to return after as little as three missed games, though the Cowboys won’t see Lawrence until November, at the earliest.
“Obviously, losing DeMarcus, he’s a prime-time player for us. I thought he had a nice start in Tampa,” McCarthy said. “You hate to see these injuries to any of your guys, but what it does is it gives opportunities to the other players. How we will spread that out will be done through game plan. We’ll work on that today, tomorrow and Saturday. Specifically, we’ll get into that when we play the game.”
In the near term, they’ll have to get by without Lawrence and possibly Randy Gregory after his positive COVID-19 test. Dallas was already in an iffy spot with their D-Line — they were just one of two NFL teams without a sack in Week 1. That leaves them with less-appealing options, such as Dorance Armstrong and Tarell Basham, backed by reserve DEs Bradlee Anae and Chauncey Golston.
Lawrence, a two-time Pro Bowler, notched 25 sacks between 2017 and 2018. He hasn’t approached that production since, but he was still solid in 2019 and 2020, collecting 11.5 sacks and 26 QB hits in 32 games (31 starts). From his sole game this year, he’s got five tackles and one forced fumble.