NFL

Cowboys lose fourth starter in a week after Lawrence breaks foot

Dallas Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence broke his foot in practice on Wednesday afternoon. He is expected to miss between six and eight weeks

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Cowboys lose fourth starter in a week after Lawrence breaks foot
Jeremy Reper USA TODAY Sports

The Dallas Cowboys were dealt a big blow on the defensive side when pass rusher DeMarcus Lawrence suffered a broken foot in Wednesday’s practice. The injury will leave the Cowboys without their defensive end for six to eight weeks.

An MRI revealed the break after Lawrence left the practice field early on Wednesday afternoon. This comes after a preseason that saw the Cowboys defensive end miss most of training camp after undergoing back surgery in the offseason.

Despite the little time to prepare for the regular season, Lawrence made six tackles, pressured Tom Brady twice and force a fumble in the Cowboys opener Thursday night. The two-time Pro Bowler has 45.5 sacks in his career, but neither he nor any other Dallas defender registered a sack in Tampa Bay last week.

Adding to the list of problems on the defensive line, Randy Gregory may also be ruled out of this week’s game against the Los Angeles Chargers. Gregory was placed on the reserve/COVID list after the Tampa Bay game, and Mike McCarthy didn’t sound too optimistic about his second best pass rusher’s chances of coming back before the weekend.

"If you look at the history, it's been 10 days pretty much everybody we've dealt with in the COVID protocol," he said. "We'll just see how it goes."

If Gregory does not get clearance to play on Sunday, Dallas will look to Dorance Armstrong and Tarell Basham as their starters on each end of the defensive line, with Bradlee Anae and Chauncey Golston as the backups. All four players have combined for a total of 10 career sacks, with Basham accounting for 7.5 of those sacks.

Lawrence is the fourth Dallas starter to go down due to injury, suspension, or COVID protocol. Gregory is awaiting the green light to return after being put on the reserve/COVID list. Wide receiver Michael Gallup suffered a calf strain and was placed on injured reserve, while right tackle La’el Collins will miss five games after the NFL suspended him for violation the leagues substance abuse policy.