For Lawrence, it starts with his hands

IRVING, Texas -- Demarcus Lawrence is considered a speed rusher by many, but the Dallas Cowboys can’t stop talking about the second-round pick's hands.

It’s not that they ever expect him to catch touchdown passes, but the strength in his hands allows him to control and direct blockers.

“He’s got 10-inch hands,” owner and general manager Jerry Jones said. “Real heavy-handed. He's got some, as DeMarcus Ware called it, his club.”

Lawrence considers himself a technique junkie. He watches players over and over again to get tips. He did it with Ware. Combine his strong hands with good speed and awareness, and you can see why the Cowboys believed he was the third-best right defensive end in the draft behind Jadeveon Clowney and Anthony Barr.

“Really just technique and fundamentals, learning how to use your hands the proper way is a great key and fundamental to have in the game of football,” Lawrence said. “I feel like I’ve learned a lot on using my hands, and I feel like I can get better at using my hands”

Leon Lett, the assistant defensive line coach, knows about the importance of strong hands.

“We were working on a hand drill on the field and he grabbed my wrist. I was like, ‘Good grief, let me go. We’re going slow, three-quarter speed here,’” Lett said. “He has big, strong, powerful hands. That was the first thing I noticed about him. I mean, he’s just a hard worker. I like the way he works. I like the passion in his eyes and his approach right now. He came in ready to go.”