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Tank Lawrence: 2019 Cowboys Got 'Distracted & Divided'

Tank Lawrence Admits His 2019 Dallas Cowboys Got 'Distracted & Divided' - And Promises Change

FRISCO - DeMarcus Lawrence was recently asked "what happened'' to him and the Dallas Cowboys in the 2019 NFL season. The question was certainly meant to be a "What-was-wrong-with-you-guys?'' query. Tank at one point deflected ... but at another point boldly plowed into a revelatory answer.

“Nothing happened to me last year,'' Lawrence answered, meaning that "nothing was particularly wrong'' on the way to his disappointing five-sack output.

But then ...

“I think it all comes down to knowing who you are and focusing on what’s in front of you,” said Lawrence. “We had so many obstacles come our way and it kind of divided us as a team.''

Wait ... what?

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The Cowboys were "divided''? And, to paraphrase, "distracted''?

By what?

Unfortunately, the FS1 hosts didn't actually listen to Tank's answer; they simply moved on to the next question on their cue cards. But in addition to exploring the hope that Lawrence's sack output increases in 2020, ideally to where it was in his Pro Bowl seasons in 2017 and 2018 in which he amassed 14.5 and 10.5 sacks (a story for another day), this issue requires deep questions and answers.

The Cowboys finished 8-8. "Obstacles''? There were no contract dispute "distractions.'' There was head-butting within the coaching staff, but was it to the point of being "divisive''? There was certainly the issue of "Red Man Walking'' with the now-dismissed head coach Jason Garrett ... but players over the course of the season insisted his hot-seat status was either a) a non-issue or b) an inspirational issue.

Sacks are not necessarily the ultimate arbiter of success. Also difficult to gauge in terms of exact importance are talent, heart, hustle and the like.

But Tank Lawrence's words? As a high-profile locker-room leader, he usually measures them carefully. And these words, while shrouded with the need for further questioning, do offer a gauge on the 2019 Cowboys.

"We were worried about other things around us instead of sticking to our jobs and the coach,'' Lawrence said. "We didn’t capitalize on the opportunities we had to win.”