FRISCO, Texas -- Unable to reach a deal on a long-term contract, the Dallas Cowboys placed the franchise tag on DeMarcus Lawrence, and the Pro Bowl defensive end promptly signed the one-year contract that guarantees himself a salary of $17.143 million for 2018.
The Cowboys announced the decision Monday, almost exactly 24 hours before Tuesday's 4 p.m. ET deadline for teams to place the franchise tag on pending free agents. Lawrence's agent, David Canter, wrote on Twitter that his client signed the deal.
Lawrence had tweeted about being tagged before the news was officially announced.
Lawrence had the best year of his career in 2017, leading the Cowboys with 14.5 sacks while earning his first Pro Bowl selection. His sack total was tied for second in the league and was the most by a Cowboys player since DeMarcus Ware had 19 in 2011.
The Cowboys will have until 4 p.m. ET on July 16 to sign Lawrence to a multiyear contract or he will have to play the season on the franchise tag.
Lawrence, who turns 26 in April, entered last season with nine career sacks, with a team-high eight coming in 2015. He had back surgery after the 2015 season and recorded just one sack in 2016 after dealing with back pain for most of the season. He sat out the final three regular-season games that season and underwent a second surgery on his back in January 2017.
Fully healthy, Lawrence dominated from the start of this past season, picking up at least one sack in each of the first seven games, something only seven other players have done since sacks became an official stat in 1982.
In addition to the sacks, Lawrence had 58 tackles, five tackles for loss and was credited by Cowboys coaches with 52 quarterback hurries. He also knocked down one pass and forced four fumbles, recovering two.
In 2014, the Cowboys traded up in the second round with the Washington Redskins to take Lawrence with the 34th overall pick. He missed the first eight games of his rookie season because of a broken foot suffered in training camp.
This is the sixth time the Cowboys have used the franchise tag. The last came in 2015 with Dez Bryant, though they were eventually able to sign the wide receiver to a five-year, $70 million contract.
The Cowboys have also used the franchise designation on Anthony Spencer (2012, 2013), Ken Hamlin (2008) and Flozell Adams (2002).
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.