IRVING, TX The Cowboys moved up in the second round of the NFL draft on Friday to take Boise State defensive lineman DeMarcus Lawrence. He's a player the Cowboys hope will replace another DeMarcus, as in DeMarcus Ware.
I know Rod (Marinelli) is a legend,' Lawrence said. 'He's a great coach. He's done a lot of good things with the Cowboys 'D' line and I'm hoping I can be the next. I know he'll put me in the right place.'
'I'm impressed with his hands, his size and I like his instincts with regard to getting to the passer,' Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said. 'At the end of the day, that put him in a group of three players that were unique and they had gone well before he did.'
Lawrence was a junior college transfer from Butler Community College in Kansas before transferring to Boise State where he recorded 20 sacks in two seasons for the Broncos. Everyone in his family growing up was a Cowboys fan, Lawrence said.
It's great to be a Cowboy,' he said. 'It's a blessing. You don't understand how long I wanted to be a Cowboy.'
The price was high. Dallas switched second round picks with Washington and added a third round pick to jump from the 15th pick in the second round to the second spot at number 34. 'I knew it was a possibility (the Cowboys would move up),' Lawrence said.
Jerry Jones said the club didn't plan on only getting two players with its first three picks, but the move up was necessitated by the guys who came off the board when they did. Conversations with Washington about gaining its pick began last night.
'We just really like him,' Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett said. 'He's a right end candidate for us. They were only a handful of right end guys in this draft. We felt like we needed to come up with an impact player in our front seven in this draft. He's got very good pass rush ability.'
'I'm quick, I'm vicious, I'm good with my hands,' Lawrence said. 'I'm just going to try and kill you really.'
Lawrence ran a 4.8 in the 40 at the NFL combine and got the call from Cowboys owner Jerry Jones.
'What shocked me was this 4.8 40 at the combine. I thought he played like a 4.55, 4.6 guy. You're talking about a guy who, of the top pass rushers, he has the worst 40 time,' ESPN draft analyst Mel Kiper said.
'He was really the last guy we had in terms of the right end spot,' said Cowboys VP and director of player personnel Stephen Jones said. 'After going over last night after the draft and going over it again this morning, we really felt like we wanted to help the defense and knew that we might have to give up a little bit more than the charts read out. We didn't want to take a chance on losing him.'
Jerry Jones said Lawrence will make an impact as a second and third down pass rusher, something the Cowboys didn't have a lot of with DeMarcus Ware injured last season. In the future, Lawrence and Ware will draw comparisons, but not by his coaches.
'I think it's unfair to compare players,' Garrett said. 'It's interesting they have the same first name but that's not what we're in the business of doing.'
'I'm my own DeMarcus,' Lawrence said in his conference call with the media. 'I don't like trying to be anybody else. I'm gonna be me, and I'm gonna do it well.'
Lawrence was interviewed at the Cowboys training facility before the draft.
'They let me know what they want to see me come in and do,' Lawrence said. 'We got all that established and starting talking about life.'
One of the reasons Lawrence may have been invited to Valley Ranch is that he doesn't come without any baggage. During his two years at Boise State, Lawrence was suspended several times.
'Our scouts do such a good job with all these players, understanding where they came from and the circumstances they may or may not have,' Garrett said. We talked it all through and felt those were issues in his past.'
The Cowboys say they feel comfortable that Lawrence can handle life in the NFL although he had maturity issues coming out of college. 'I do,' Jones said.