Nov 3, 2013; Arlington, TX, USA; Minnesota Vikings running back Adrian Peterson (28) is tackled by Dallas Cowboys middle linebacker Sean Lee (50) in the game at AT&T Stadium. The Dallas Cowboys beat the Minnesota Vikings 27-23. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Don’t Count Out Cowboys Sean Lee Just Yet


For some strange reason, I’ll always remember exactly where I was when I got the news, via text, that Sean Lee had suffered a torn ACL in the spring, and was going to be lost for the season. The Nittany Lions’ season, that is. It was 2008, and I was just finishing up my sophomore year at Penn State, spending the weekend with a bunch of friends at a retreat near State College, Pennsylvania.

Unlike most Cowboys fans, I’ve been through this before: losing Lee for the season long before the season is even set to begin. I saw Lee, a team captain, take on even more of a leadership role that season, dedicating himself more than ever to the team. Sure, he was missed on the field, but he was also invaluable off of the field, and he worked his butt off to come back better than ever the following season.

It was that injury that caused Lee to drop to the second round of the 2009 NFL Draft, where he was nabbed by Dallas. Lee established himself as one of the, if not THE, best linebackers in the game. But, he also established himself as something else: incredibly unlucky and unable to stay healthy.

The shame of it is, there’s almost nothing Lee can do about it. You can be the strongest guy in the world, but if your knee twists the wrong way, you can kiss your ACL goodbye. Lee isn’t in the same class as former Cowboys wideout Miles Austin, who seemed to have the most fragile hamstrings in the world. No, most of Lee’s injuries have been of the “bad luck” variety than the true “injury-prone” type.

That being said, in this day and age of medicine, there’s no reason to count out Sean Lee. The guy is as dedicated and hard-working as they come. He’s beloved by teammates and fans alike, not just for his great play on the field, but for his leadership and work ethic as well.

Lee is still a Nittany Lion fan favorite, because of those traits. After news of Lee’s latest injury broke, I received texts from college friends who are Eagles, Giants and Redskins fans, all passing along their sincere condolences. Even though he now wears a star on his helmet, they still love the guy, because it’s impossible not to like and respect Sean Lee. He’s everything that you want in a football player. And that’s exactly what makes his time in the NFL so devastating, because he deserves better.

I’ve heard a lot of chatter from Cowboys fans that it’s time to cut Lee and to move on and that he’ll never be a guy that can be counted on. And that may very well be true, and that opinion isn’t without a sound base. But for me, I’m not willing to count the guy out until he literally cannot play football anymore. I’ll even take 12-13 games of Sean Lee a season over 16 games of almost anyone else.

For the time being, there’s no point in dwelling over the injury just like there’s no point in crying over spilt milk, because there’s nothing that can be done. But don’t be so quick to count out Lee. I’ve seen him come back from this before, and I’m willing to bet that he can come back from it again.

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Tags: Dallas Cowboys Sean Lee

  • SmartThinking

    The problem is, you just can’t depend on Sean Lee … to make a season … to cement the defense … to be there when he’s needed the most.

  • truthbetold

    At this point, I think it is indeed time to give up on him

  • IBleedBlue

    Folks, this is the NFL. Grown men, superb athletes flying around at 100mph and with violent intentions. Lee is a talent. To say it’s time to “give up on him” is absurd. His talent is undeniable as is his dedication to his craft. He is still an asset even in sweatpants and wearing a baseball cap. Obviously he wasn’t drafted for that role but to hear fans say, “we give up” is exactly the wrong message to send to a team that has been, in recent years, considered mentally soft. Stand together, fall together. And just like with Josh Brent, prop each other up in the darkest of times.

    Some of you need to check your armchair resumes at the door. Sean Lee is a stud. Only way I give up on him is if he goes the way of JaMarcus Russell or Todd Marinovich. Which is to say, never.

    • Dana

      I agree 100%!!

    • Scott.

      I kind of agree with half of your assessment but what good does lee do the team if he can’t stay on the field? Yes he is a stud, yes he makes the defense better but man he has got to figure out how to stay healthy. At this point they have to ask if his injury status molds with their long term plan. Seeing how he was extended last year they’ll give him another shot but I can’t see many more after the 2015 season if he doesn’t stay healthy.

  • Earl Robertson

    His injuries are not just bad luck or he got hit in the knee in a cheap shot way. One he out for the year because of a toe, where he didn’t do anything but push a guy alittle. Then he gets a hamstring then after that his neck gets bent to the left a little and he is done for the year. Then he slips and his knee is blown! So he is injured prone because his body makeup does not have what you need to survive in the NFL. You just said he may never played a whole season! I agree with that and that shows he is injured prone. But I have change my mind about cutting him. I like how the Cowboys did his contract so what they can do is just keep,him and when he can play it isms bonus because he is one of the best when playing. But for now on I’m not even going to have him in mind when I am thinking if the cowboys can win games. For example I’m not going to be looking at the Redskins game and think well RG3 won’t be able to run because Lee will stop him! Lee is someone that you will know never what game he is going to be playing in. Hey since you are from Penn State, did Lee have 2 knees go out on him while he was in college?

    • IBleedBlue

      Holy cow, my head hurts. I’m not much on grammar-policing a sports blog but dude….you write like Dallas played defense last year. Stiff and uncoordinated.

      Lee blew out one knee in college if memory serves. Marcus Lattimore is another story though. If that guy comes back strong, I see no reason why Lee can’t man the middle after some serious rehab.

  • BSORaiderErie

    Lee could help coach, again, and become even a better player. Dallas was lucky to draft Lee and I agree when he is in the lineup he is the difference but place the BLAME on the Cowboys sorry and lightweight Defensive Line who couldn’t keep flies off crap let alone Offensive Linemen off of the Cowboys Linebackers! Lee is hardly ever clean and it has been worse the last 2 years! Let’s hope tbis season the line can do better all around performancefor the team! The bigger mistake than Lee was their love fest for the OSU Wr!

  • Guest

    White dudes aren’t meant to fly around like negroes. Face it.