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Demarcus Lawrence aiming to become Cowboys' sack leader in 2022

No, Delilah didn't sneak in and slice off Demarcus Lawrence's dreadlocks. The Dallas Cowboys edge rusher ditched the dreads entering his ninth season.

"Yeah, I had my fun with my dreads," Lawrence said, via the Dallas Morning News. "I started growing them when I entered the NFL, and they grew so fast on me they got heavy. I turned 30 this year so I'm like, 'it's time for me to make a grown-man change.' And I chopped them off."

Lawrence hopes the new look will have an anti-Sampson effect on his season.

"Become the sack leader again," Lawrence said of his goals in 2022. "I let a rookie show me up last year. ... Shoutout to my boy, Micah (Parsons), but restate my dominance. Let everybody know that I'm coming, how I feel, and the type of respect I'm going to demand when I step on that field."

Lawrence was held to just seven games in 2021 due to injury and generated just 3.0 sacks -- Micah Parsons led the Cowboys with 13.0 as a rookie.

Following Randy Gregory's contract hullaballoo that led the pass rusher to move to Denver, questions have persisted about whether the Cowboys have the horses to rush the passer consistently -- particularly if Parsons plays less dedicated rusher snaps.

Dallas added free agent Dante Fowler Jr. and drafted Sam Williams in the second round. Still, there are no sure replacements for Gregory's impact.

A fully healthy Lawrence getting back to the Pro Bowl level he hasn't hit since back-to-back double-digit sack seasons in 2017 and 2018 would go a long way for the Cowboys defense. Lawrence recapturing his game-wrecking ability would provide a more significant lift to the Dallas defense than any offseason addition.

"I feel like I'm in better shape," Lawrence said. "I feel like this offseason has been one of the most serious ones for me, just all about being healthy and taking care of the body and doing rigorous trainings and stuff and different workouts."

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