,Healthy, motivated, Cowboys' Lee delivering on father's hopes

Discussion in 'Fan Zone' started by panchucko, Jul 26, 2013.

  1. panchucko

    panchucko It's Back

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    I hope he plays is butt off this year.

    OXNARD, Calif. -- For the first time in this preseason the hitting was live, and five or so thousand fans at last Tuesday's afternoon practice for the Dallas Cowboys were into it. During one especially spirited seven-on-seven period in the third hour of the session, quarterback Tony Romo lofted a pass into the seam, in the direction of wideout Miles Austin. But the ball was batted down by a defensive back running stride for stride with the speedy Austin, 35 yards down the field.

    Except that, once the players untangled themselves, the defender turned out to be ... not a DB. It was middle linebacker Sean Lee, gliding around like a safety, down at least 10 pounds from his 2012 playing weight of 245. Lee, a fourth-year player out of Penn State, has his football roots in pass coverage; he first got on the field as a cornerback at perennial powerhouse Upper St. Clair High, just south of Pittsburgh. He later moved to safety, before making the switch to linebacker at Penn State.

    When practice was over, no Cowboy was in better spirits than Lee, who spent at least 10 minutes lingering along the fence-line, smiling and chatting with fans, signing footballs and jerseys, including the back of one with a five-year-old boy still in it: the pressure of the Sharpie tickled the boy, whose father was more giddy than his son.

    Asked by a television reporter how it felt to be hitting for the first time since last December, the 27-year-old Lee corrected him. His 2012 season actually ended in October. "So yeah, it's nice to put the pads on again."

    Lee was not quite halfway through what was looking very much like a Pro Bowl season when that season was abruptly terminated. On Oct. 24, at the end of a play in the third quarter of a 19-14 win at Carolina, Dallas end DeMarcus Ware tossed an off-balance Panther in the direction of Lee, who was face down on the ground. With his big right toe pointing directly into the turf, the toe had nowhere to go: it ended up in contact with his shin, tearing the plantar plate, plus medial and lateral ligaments in his foot. He had season-ending surgery a few days later.

    So, of course, he was excited to be back in the mix -- though it's a different mix. Out is former defensive coordinator Rob Ryan. He was replaced by the 73-year-old Monte Kiffin, whose tried and true Tampa 2 defense is simpler and more streamlined than Ryan's multiple, personnel-scrambling, mad scientist approach. After firing Ryan, team owner Jerry Jones spoke of how "too many schemes" can overwhelm players, particularly in a day and age of high roster turnover.

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    OhSnap likes this.
  2. TwoDeep3

    TwoDeep3 Well-Known Member Zone Supporter

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    My belief is top teams has certain players that lead and inspire with their play, aggression, and are vocal in practice and in games. Some argue that point is not necessary, but I think back to all the great Dallas teams and see a string of players that fit that mold. People who held others accountable.

    Lee is the man on defense. His style of play - even as short lived as we have seen because of injuries - is the catalyst for the entire defense. Having an all out player who encourages and still will chew a little butt causes players around him to not want to fail.

    I understand the lead by example, but my feeling is every team needs a vocal leader who is top dog.

    Dallas had a few with Irvin, Aikman, Haley, Norton, Woody and some others.

    Lee has been teaching Carter to see what he sees. If he can teach him to be what Lee is then this just gets better and better.

    There is something to be said about refusing to lose and holding those around you accountable.

    I hope he stays healthy because Lee is the eye of the storm.
    Sportsbabe likes this.
  3. OhSnap

    OhSnap Well-Known Member

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    Kiffen and Marineli could find some really nice ways to use this guy. Gonna piss allotta people off when he plays all year.
  4. Crown Royal

    Crown Royal Insulin Beware

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    Sig worthy
  5. skinsscalper

    skinsscalper Well-Known Member

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    Agreed. Good stuff.
  6. Bowdown27

    Bowdown27 Well-Known Member

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    Can't wait to see this defense on the field. Lee and carter healthy could be a duo that is top 3-5 in the league
  7. erod

    erod Well-Known Member

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    If he can somehow stay healthier, I have no doubt this is a name for the Ring of Honor.

    He is unbelievable when healthy. Best player in the defense.
  8. Sean50Lee

    Sean50Lee Active Member

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    Sean Lee Pro Bowl 2013!

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