NORTH RICHLAND HILLS, Texas – Lost amid the health concerns of quarterback Tony Romo and defensive end DeMarcus Ware is the prognosis of middle linebacker Sean Lee. For the second straight season, the fourth year pro had to sit out a season finale that could have clinched the NFC East with a win.
“My neck feels great,” Lee said during an autograph signing appearance at Uncle Bob’s Self Storage in North Richland Hills. “I’m working hard. You know, I’ve been working hard to try to rehab. I’ll be ready for the full off-season program, OTA’s, training camp. I’ll be one hundred percent here soon.”
Entering his fifth season, the veteran out of Penn State has never played all sixteen games in a season. Another interesting note on Lee’s career is the number of defensive coordinators he has played under: five. On January 28th, the Dallas Cowboys named Rod Marinelli defensive coordinator and elevated Kiffin to assistant head coach, making Marinelli the team’s fifth defensive coordinator since 2010, Lee’s rookie season. Lee has confidence in Marinelli since he is, “an unbelievable coach.”
Fans and the front office blame the coaches, but the 2013 team captain blames his teammates, pointing the finger at himself primarily.
“I think, across the board, we have great coaches on our staff,” Lee declared. “The players have to find a way to play better defense starting with me. I have to find a way to be a better football player, to play better. And I think with all of the coaches we have, we’ll make the adjustments and be better next year.”
While Lee didn’t say his unit, ranked 32nd and at the nadir in 2013, would be as stifling as Seattle’s, the linebacker did draw inspiration from the Seahawks’ 43-8 domination of the prolific Denver Broncos offense.
“It just shows you that if you can play great defense, you can give yourself a shot to win,” said Lee. “And I was surprised they were able to dominate; the game was as much of a blowout. We played Denver and they were a great football team. But it just shows you, defensively, if you play better, you give yourself a shot to win.”
For a team that had five losses within three points the previous year, the 2014 Dallas Cowboys will need all the shots they can fire.
People have speculated about fan interest in the Dallas Cowboys after going 8-8 for a third consecutive year and missing the playoffs. An estimated 600 fans turned out for Lee’s autograph signing with each one carrying Dallas Cowboys memorabilia and photographs. Ben Paolini with Uncle Bob’s Self Storage said events like these are good for their community, and it gives them a chance to give their customers what they want.
“We know people love the Dallas Cowboys,” Paolini smiled.
People love seeing the Dallas Cowboys improved, which is Sean Lee’s goal for this off-season.