Cowboys' DeMarcus Lawrence says pregnant wife made call to not opt out

·2 min read

The NFL offered players an option to opt out of its upcoming COVID-19 season with stipends ranging from $150,000 to $350,000.

A lot of players took that option, many citing family health concerns.

Dallas Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence has a seven-months pregnant wife at home. He did not take that option.

He told reporters from practice on Friday that the decision was her call. And she insisted that he play.

“My decision was made by my wife,” Lawrence said, per USA Today. “She basically told me there’s no way possible that I could miss this season.”

Lawrence was a late decision to play

Lawrence considered opting out but reported to team headquarters for COVID-19 testing in late July amid speculation that the two-time Pro Bowler wouldn’t play.

He’s now joining his Cowboys teammates in a makeshift “bubble” in Frisco, Texas as practice gets underway. The Cowboys normally travel to Oxnard, California for camp but are preparing for the season in the Texas heat this summer because of COVID-19 travel restrictions.

Cowboys players living in hotel

Even though they’re close to home, that means players are mostly isolating from the outside world as they live in The Omni hotel next to team headquarters. That also means Lawrence’s wife Sasha is handling things at home with their children.

“My wife is taking care of home,” Lawrence continued. “I respect her so much. I know she’ll do a great job. I just got to focus on football right now and when I’m able to get back home, I’ll be there.”

After speculation that he wouldn't play, Demarcus Lawrence said that his wife made the call to not opt out. (Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Wheels Up)
After speculation that he wouldn't play, Demarcus Lawrence said that his wife made the call to not opt out. (Robin Marchant/Getty Images for Wheels Up)

Lawrence is approaching the second year of a five-year, $105 million contract that owes him $16.9 million in salary this season. That’s considerably more than the $150,000 stipend he would have likely qualified for and significant motivation to play.

Like the rest of his NFL colleagues, he’ll do his best to stay healthy this season and hope to be able to join Sasha in the delivery room in October.

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