INDIANAPOLIS, IN – DECEMBER 16: DeMarcus Lawrence #90 of the Dallas Cowboys looks on during the game against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on December 16, 2018 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Colts won 23-0. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
The Dallas pass rusher says the team suffered from too many distractions.
An 8-8 record tends not to spell the end of the world in the NFL, but when you’re the Dallas Cowboys, it may as well be 0-16. The 2019 season was a much more tumultuous one than it needed to be for the NFL’s most famous brand, and speaking this week on FS1’s Speak for Yourself, defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence clearly acknowledged that the worst of what ailed Big D last season was self-inflicted.
Unfortunately, there’s no proven indication that these issues have been sufficiently resolved.
DeMarcus Lawrence said Dallas Cowboys were “divided”, which is bad news
“I think it all comes down to knowing who you are and focusing on what’s in front of you. We had so many obstacles come our way and it kind of divided us as a team,” Lawrence said.
Finishing behind the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC East is an unacceptable development in the Metroplex, and the Cowboys surely eliminated one distraction when the ever-on-the-hot-seat Jason Garrett was finally, mercifully let go after the season. Jerry Jones and Co. really just traded one divisive factor for another, however, as the standoff over a potential contract extension for Dak Prescott remains a frustrating issue with no clear end in sight.
If behind-the-scenes obstacles really were what held Lawrence back and limited him to less than half of his sack output compared to 2018, there’s no reason to believe things are automatically going to be better this time around.
Tank wasn’t the only player in Dallas who turned in an uneven performance in 2019, and he’s not the only one who needs to step up and take ownership of the team’s fate under new head coach Mike McCarthy.
As it stands, however, his explanation for just what went wrong last year may be accurate, but there’s not sufficient reason to believe that things have truly changed as much as they needed to change.