FRISCO - DeMarcus Lawrence says the medical staff is advising him to be patient as he "ramps up'' toward making his 2021 NFL debut in the regular-season opener at Tampa Bay.
But what he's really "ramping up'' toward is something even bigger.
"I'm at the point in my career where I'm trying to win a Super Bowl," he said. "If that means me going out there and playing in the preseason, so be it. But I think the team don't think that's necessary, so they told me to be ready by Week 1.
"And I'll be ready."
Lawrence, 29, is coming off offseason back surgery, and the Pro Bowl defensive end will not play in Sunday's preseason finale against the Jaguars. He has watched Buccaneers film since the spring.
“It's a huge mark to face the defending Super Bowl champs,” he said.”I feel like it will be good adversity Week 1, see how it comes out."
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And he is starting to involve himself in practice - all under the supervision of the Cowboys medical team - and that's an important part of his progress.
"It feels good just getting out there with the team and getting my feet underneath me," Lawrence said after Tuesday's workout. "The only thing left now is to make contact, so just waiting on that day. ... Get the hitting in and see how it feels from there.''
The Cowboys, as a franchise, have title contention as the ultimate goal. So quarterback Dak Prescott, kicker Greg Zuerlein and receiver Amari Cooper are also among the guys who underwent offseason procedures and who are now returning under the club's "cautious'' approach.
Lawrence does believe, by the way, that he needs to practice, with contact, in order to play. He said, ""That is the challenge. Trusting your instincts. … Once you get off the field, you lose it. ... So being able to just get back out here, run through my fundamentals, my keys and stuff, I feel like I'll be in a good spot."
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