Cowboys 1-on-1: Tank Lawrence On 'Hot Boyz' Claims And His Return to The Field

Mike Fisher
August 21, 2019 - 12:39 pm
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FRISCO (105.3 The Fan) - DeMarcus Lawrence is back - to claim his starting left end spot in the Dallas Cowboys defense, and to slap around any pretenders' claims to his "Hot Boyz'' throne.

"It was real fun'' to be back, Tank told me in a 1-on-1 visit following his Tuesday return to practice after months of rehab from shoulder surgery. "Coach (Rod) Marinelli wanted to put his foot on me. But like we tell him, 'Once you've been broken so many times, it's hard to break a broken man.' ... We're comfortable with being uncomfortable. And that's how we play.''

Tank is the leader of the "Hot Boyz,'' Dallas' defensive line's self-administered nickname for year ago. He and his teammates are mystified as to how the San Francisco 49ers are now nicknaming themselves the same.

''I don't know what's going on,'' Tank told me, joking that he'd trademarked the monicker. "But absolutely, the 'Hot Boyz' is here. We're the 'Hot Boyz.' Some people don't tune in.''

Lawrence tells me there is a non-football thing that the Niners may be clinging to.   "You gotta understand, there's this thing going around called 'Hot Boyz Summer' and "Hot Girlz Summer'' ... They're probably in their summer mode.''

Lawrence had an eventful offseason that included his wedding, his signing of the largest contract in team history and his shoulder labrum surgery. That procedure prevented Lawrence from being able to participate in most of the team's offseason activities and threatened to possible eat into his regular-season debut. But Lawrence all along has pledged to be ready to play in Week 1 against the Giants. And now?

"We're gonna let (opponents enjoy) the heat of a summer,'' Tank said, "because once the real season begins they're going to see what the real 'Hot Boyz' are about.''

That will take a little more time, of course. Said coach Jason Garrett on Wednesday morning regarding the healthy return of Lawrence and Tyrone Crawford, who took their rightful spots as the first-team defensive ends on Tuesday: "I think the focus is more on Week 1 for the Giants,'' adding that neither man would practice on Wednesday.

Lawrence is not only this team’s sack leader in three of the last four seasons; he is also among its all-around best players and one of its emotional leaders, too. His return to the field (along with Crawford, also coming off PUP) certainly buoyed the rest of the Hot Boyz as the Cowboys continue training camp here at Frisco inside The Star this week.

Said defensive tackle Antwuan Woods: "It felt good to have my boys back and to building that chemistry and that bond, getting back to that feeling together.''

Lawrence is certainly fired up to oppose New York. He's usually performed at a high level against the Giants and takes particular delight in harassing QB Eli Manning.

But after one day back on the field, he seems ready to harass all comers. O-linemen, Giants, nickname stealers ... all of 'em.