NFL names Dallas DE DeMarcus Lawrence NFC Player of Month after multi-sack performance against Arizona

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Photo: Geoff Burke/USA TODAY SPORTS

DALLAS — The National Football League named Dallas Cowboys defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence the NFC’s Defensive Player of the Month for September on Thursday, per information from the league.

Lawrence, who has tallied a league-leading 6.5 sacks through the first three games, becomes only the second Cowboys player to win the award. Sean Lee won it in 2011 and again in 2013. He was suspended for the first four games of the 2016 season.

After notching three sacks in Monday night’s 28-17 win over the Arizona Cardinals, Lawrence joined exclusive company and became only the third NFL player to ever earn multiple sacks in each of his first three games. Mark Gastineau had one in each of the first three games in 1984 and Kevin Greene had one in each of the first four games in 1998.

“It’s been a great start,” Greene said on dallascowboys.com. “[He’s] just got to keep it going.”

According to Pro Football Focus, he leads the league with a pass-rush productivity metric — a formula that gives a score for sacks, QB hits and hurries — of 22.6 and ranks in the top 20 in regards to run stop percentage, a metric that measures how often a player keeps the opposing team from having what’s considered a successful run play. This is keeping a team from gaining at least 40 percent of necessary yardage on first down, 60 percent on second down, and 100 percent on third and fourth downs. Of 32 run snaps Lawrence has played, he has three tackles.

All of them qualified as stops.

Lawrence, who also has 17 tackles and a forced fumbles and is in the final year of his contract with the Cowboys, became the first Dallas player to record consecutive multiple sack games since DeMarcus Ware in 2011. Lawrence posted 1.5 sacks in the season-opening win over the Giants and two more in the loss at Denver.

The NFC’s Offensive Player of the Month is Todd Gurley of the Los Angeles Rams. Gurley scored four rushing touchdowns and two receiving touchdowns, which makes him the league’s leading scorer among non-kickers.

Coincidentally, the Rams (2-1) will visit the Cowboys (2-1) Sunday at AT&T Stadium.

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