The Dallas Cowboys are adding a key playmaker for tonight at New Orleans.
Oh, and wide receiver Amari Cooper should be back, too.
In terms of changing the dynamic of a team that enters December at 7-4 but having loss three of the last four games, it’s the return of defensive end Demarcus Lawrence that could truly make a difference.
After all, while Cooper missed the last two games due to COVID, with Dallas losing both, Lawrence has been absent since Week 2 when he underwent foot surgery after getting hurt in practice.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, on his weekly radio appearance on 105.3 The Fan, shared a similar vision.
Aikman: Washington 'Last Opportunity' for Wentz
Former Cowboys quarterback Troy Aikman says Wentz's third team in three years is his last opportunity to get things right
Cowboys DT Brent Urban Signs with Ravens
Dallas is turning the page with young run-stuffing tackles.
Cowboys Cut TCU Rookie
Updated by the minute, our Cowboys NFL Free Agency and Trade Tracker: News and views on the roster-building effort
“Lawrence has had a good week," Jones said. "You’ll see him this week in New Orleans. My goodness, what a difference a player like that can make. Of course, he’ll have to get his game going once he gets back in here.”
Indeed, it’s not yet known how much of a load the two-time Pro Bowler’s rehab will allow him to carry. But his all-around talent as a defensive lineman - much more than just a pass-rusher - figures to be useful, even in spot duty.
In his absence (and in the absence of fellow end Randy Gregory, who may be back next week), his more-than-capable replacement has in a sense been standout rookie Micah Parsons . Lawrence’s return frees up Parsons to move around as a linebacker, in coverage, and attacking the QB, the things he's done so well so far for defensive coordinator Dan Quinn that Parsons just won NFL Defensive Rookie of the Month. (Quinn, by the way, is in charge tonight with head coach Mike McCarthy in COVID protocol. Read here.)
The eventual vision? Lawrence plus Gregory plus Parsons plus cornerback Trevon Diggs as premium playmakers on a contending team. But tonight? Lawrence contributing to the defense the way Cooper might contribute to the offense would serve as a gigantic boost.