- Calvin Watkins, ESPN Staff Writer
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IRVING, Texas -- NFL teams try to know everything about prospective draft picks.
I mean everything.
Sometimes, NFL teams will send a security person to a prospective player's hometown to find out just who he is.
There will be times when players make mistakes for a variety of reasons that get them suspended from games.
Lawrence has all the skills the Cowboys are looking for in a pass-rushing defensive end, but he was suspended twice during the 2012 season for violating team rules. One of the games he missed was the Las Vegas Bowl against Washington.
Then, last season, he was suspended for a game against Tennessee-Martin.
Lawrence didn’t get into specifics as to why he was suspended. He just said he violated team rules. However, he noted it was due to childish behavior and that everything was in the past.
"It was just me growing up, adjusting to the college life coming from a small town and then college," said Lawrence, who grew up in Aiken, South Carolina. "I had a lot of adjustment to go through. Some of my family dying and I’m up there by myself, nobody to talk to or nothing. I had a lot of stuff on my shoulder, and I just had to learn how to take a lot of that aggression and bring it to football."
Cowboys officials, along with most other NFL teams, spoke to Lawrence about his issues the past two seasons away from the field and came away satisfied with what they heard.
"We are very thorough discussing those things, and we get our arms around them or else we wouldn’t have them on our board," coach Jason Garrett said. "We talked it all through, had a lot of really good information and we felt like those are issues that are in his past, and he is the kind of guy we want to bring to this football team."
Lawrence credits his father, Tyrone, with helping turn his attitude around.
"Me and my dad talked a lot," Lawrence said. "I respect him a lot, and I know he’s going to stick by my side," Lawrence said. "He’s been there since day one, and I respect him for that. We just sit back and talk about how things are going to be, what I’m going to have to do."