Former Boise State defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence publicly set his goal as a rookie last year at 10 sacks.
He finished with zero.
He isn’t going to make that mistake again.
“No numbers,” he told ESPN.com. “I know my goal is set high to be the best. ... I jinxed myself last year.”
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Lawrence, a second-round draft pick, missed the first eight games of the season with a broken foot. He was held without a sack for the rest of the regular season (and had just nine tackles).
But he showed his potential in the playoffs, when he recorded two sacks – including a game-clinching strip and sack of Lions quarterback Matthew Stafford. Lawrence recovered the fumble, too.
Lawrence has moved to left defensive end this year, which will give him favorable matchups against right tackles. The best tackles play on the left side.
"I think we got a good feel for what kind of player he could be once he came back last year," Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said, according to ESPN.com. "I think the strides he's made this offseason are significant. I think he's a bigger, stronger, more explosive athlete than he was when he came in here a year ago. And you see a determination and an intensity on the football field that you really like. He's a young guy. It's all in front of him. But we love his approach."
Lawrence is eager to show that his playoff performance was indicative of his talent.
"I just feel like coming off last season I have a lot more to prove," he told ESPN.com. "They know I can do it now. So it's just a matter of doing it."
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Lawrence is one of 18 former Boise State players in NFL training camps. The full list is available here.
We’ll check in on each of the guys throughout the month of August.