With this offseason being one of the worst for the Dallas Cowboys in terms of suspensions and off-the-field issues, linebacker Sean Lee says it’s time to step up.
This offseason has been a non-stop flood of negative news for the Dallas Cowboys. And that’s been somewhat of a reality shock coming off a 13-3 season when a duo of talented rookies, quarterback Dak Prescott and running back Ezekiel Elliott, lead America’s Team back to postseason relevance.
But if you take time to really think about, the off-the-field issues involving Cowboys players this offseason has been overwhelming. Elliott’s on-going league investigation into an alleged domestic violence incident from 2016 continues to loom over the team as has so for over a year.
And if that wasn’t enough, Zeke landed in the news several times this offseason for all the wrong reasons. Taking a girl’s top off that was caught on video, being in very close proximity of a bar fight where he was initially accused of breaking someone’s nose and getting a speeding ticket for going 100 miles per hour. It simply wasn’t a very good offseason for Elliott off-the-field.
The 22-year old superstar running back may be the public face of the Cowboys issues so far this year, but he’s certainly not alone in the doghouse. Three of the Cowboys pass rushers have already been suspended by the league for different violations. Randy Gregory has been banned the entire season due to his multiple violations of the NFL’s substance abuse policy.
Back in May, cornerback Nolan Carroll was also arrested for DUI. Fellow rookie cornerback Jourdan Lewis was in court just a few days ago on misdemeanor charges of domestic violence and assault and battery. However, the jury found Lewis not guilty on both counts and he joined the Cowboys at training camp later in the week.
And in what may be the most shocking news of all, third-year linebacker Damien Wilson was arrested and charged with two counts of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon after an apparent dispute over a parking space.
To say it’s been a turbulent offseason for the Cowboys is an understatement. And it appears veteran Sean Lee has had enough. Here’s what the two-time Pro Bowler had to say when asked about the team’s recent off-the-field issues.
"“At some point, guys have to understand that we’ve got to do things the right way on and off the field,” Lee told ESPN.com on Saturday. “…We’ve got to find a way to step up, do things right off the field because we have this opportunity. Every decision I make, I keep my teammates in mind. I keep this organization in mind. And I keep the fact that we have this unbelievable tradition and this opportunity to play. As leaders, we have to teach some of these guys a better way that they have this opportunity, and they have to respond.”"
I find it interesting that Lee doesn’t blame his teammates for their actions, but instead he shifts the blame to himself and the other veteran leaders on the team confessing they need to do a better job of guiding the younger players.
The Dallas Cowboys certainly need strong, vocal leaders like Sean Lee on this team if they are going to start to correct some of the poor decisions their teammates have been making off-the-field. But, as Lee stated, they can do so much. The players themselves have to respond and start making the right decisions for themselves and the team.