NFC Notes: Cowboys, Lions, Saints


Cowboys DE Demarcus Lawrence has his sites set on the season opener for his return to the field. Lawrence isn’t practicing as he recovers from offseason shoulder surgery to fix a torn labrum, though he did travel with the team to training camp and is doing classroom work alongside his teammates. 

“I have a date in my mind when I’m going to be ready, and that’s the season opener,” Lawrence said via Pro Football Talk. “I’m not saying I’m going to overload my workload for the season opener or what they want to do with me or have me off the PUP list by the season opener, but hopefully be ready by the season opener.”

Lawrence added he’s doing well from a conditioning standpoint, but the biggest step for him will be building back strength in his repaired shoulder. In that sense, being away during training camp will put him behind, as he says it’s “really hard to play D-line when you’re not in the trenches.”


Lions DT Mike Daniels said he had 13 teams reach out, but he chose the Lions because of HC Matt Patricia

“He’s just a genius, he really is,” Daniels said via Kyle Meinke of “He understands the game of football, he knows what it takes. To be able to play for a coach like that, it means everything.”

“I always respected him, and I’ve always respected his work,” Daniels continued. “Now I thank God. I thank God I got cut, and I have an opportunity to play with a defensive genius.”


Saints HC Sean Payton said that training camp is likely “a little early” for DT Sheldon Rankins to return to action after tearing his Achilles during the playoffs last year. 

“If I had a game I could give you, I’d give you that game,” Payton said, via “Hopefully it’s earlier than later. But meanwhile, you’re counting on everyone else to step up, including the inside players.

  • Mike Garafolo mentions that Rankins figures to open the season on the PUP list, which would cost him the first six weeks of the season.

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