It’s no secret the Cowboys defense really struggles without Sean Lee on the field. Fortunately, his hamstring won’t keep him out against the Seahawks.
Sean Lee isn’t the biggest star on the Cowboys roster, but he is the most important member of their defense. Dallas only emerged victorious in one of six games without the talented linebacker last year. That’s why his injured hamstring was a huge cause for concern for team’s coaching staff this week.
The good news is that Lee says he’s ready to go for Sunday’s game against the Seahawks. Tightness is hamstring caused him to miss practice on Wednesday and he only managed to be a limited participant on Thursday. Nonetheless, Lee insists he “plans on playing” against Seattle.
That’s a big lift for a Cowboys team that’s desperate to improve their record to 2-1. Beating the Seahawks mean the defense must keep Russell Wilson relatively quiet. Having solid play at the linebacker position is crucial to keep the mobile quarterback under control.
In fairness to the Cowboys, they should be better equipped to cover for Lee if he’s forced to miss time this season. Jaylon Smith is another year removed from the gruesome injury that almost cost him his entire football career. He isn’t Lee’s equal as a linebacker, but he is an adequate starter.
The organization also chose to spend a first round pick on Leighton Vander Esch. It’s going to take some time for the former Boise State star to get comfortable with the speed and complexity of the NFL game, but he certainly has the athleticism to become a dynamic playmaker. The team has quiet hope that he can be Lee’s long-term replacement in the middle.
The news that Lee is ready to go against the Seahawks is still a massive boost for Jason Garrett and the coaching staff. He’s the heartbeat and brain of the defense all at the same time. Whenever he can’t make it on the field the Cowboys defense always look tentative. Any hesitation against Wilson this weekend could be fatal.