February 27, 2019 / 10:33 PM / 8 months ago

Cowboys' Garrett dismisses own fate, focused on keeping Lawrence

INDIANAPOLIS - Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett claims the next second he spends thinking about his expiring contract will be the first.

Feb 27, 2019; Indianapolis, IN, USA; Dallas Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett speaks to media during the 2019 NFL Combine at Indianapolis Convention Center. Mandatory Credit: Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

“The best teams, the best players I’ve been around in this game have the same mentality, sense of urgency and back-against-the-wall mentality,” Garrett said Wednesday at the 2019 NFL Scouting Combine.

Garrett is in the final year of his existing contract, but owner Jerry Jones and vice president Stephen Jones indicate the coach has no reason to be concerned about his status with the team.

Garrett, though, isn’t sure what the makeup of his 2019 roster might be because of contract challenges with multiple players. That includes pending free agent defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence and wide receiver Cole Beasley.

“The business side with the salary cap, you can’t keep everybody,” Garrett said. “DeMarcus has been a great player for us. He’s definitely a priority for us to get signed. There’s a lot of business stuff that goes on ... but no question the sentiment is we want DeMarcus Lawrence to be with the Cowboys for a long, long time.”

Linebacker Sean Lee was an asset to the Cowboys even after he was unseated as a starter, Garrett said Wednesday. Lee “has a lot of football left and will be a part of what we do going forward.”

“Unfortunately, durability has been an issue,” Garrett said. “But when he has played — he has played really well. You continue to try to find the key to keep him healthy. Sean works harder at this than anyone I’ve been around.”

The Cowboys are planning to keep the pass-rushing Lawrence, even if it means “the hard way,” which is applying the franchise tag designation.

Garrett said the Cowboys will continue to support defensive end Randy Gregory, who continues to deal with off-field issues.

“Unfortunately he’s had a setback,” Garrett said. “Our eyes were wide open to his situation. He won’t be with us in the near term. I think there’s certainly a point with different players — we aren’t at that point with Randy right now — and he’s suspended indefinitely, not allowed to participate in the offseason program and some very specific things. He’ll continue to work, continue to get professional help. The way it has been explained to me that sometimes relapse is part of rehab. He’s working very hard to get his issues under control.”

Beasley, an unrestricted free agent, turns 30 in April and is primarily a slot receiver with punt return ability.

“The business of the NFL is challenging,” Garrett said. “Unfortunately, when you have players like Cole Beasley, other teams want him, too. He’s had a huge impact on our team. ... He knows how much I love him, coaching staff loves him, teammates love him.”

—By Jeff Reynolds, Field Level Media

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