According to Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones, All-Pro linebacker Sean Lee will miss the team’s Thanksgiving matchup against the Chargers.
When it comes to injured Dallas Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee, the team’s “next man up” motto simply doesn’t apply. As the Cowboys multiple “L’s” in the win/loss column without Lee in the lineup have proven this season, there is no replacing the Pro Bowl defender in Big “D”.
During a radio interview with 105.3 The Fan on Tuesday, Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones confirmed that Lee will not be able to play in Dallas’ upcoming Thanksgiving day game against the Los Angeles Chargers. In fact, the hamstring injury that has had the 31-year old linebacker sidelined since early in Week 10, could force him to miss their November 30th matchup against the Washington Redskins as well.
So just how important is Lee to this Cowboys’ team when he’s on the field as opposed to when he’s standing on the sidelines? So far this season, Dallas is 5-2 when he’s started. They are 0-3 without Lee. Many believe the 5-5 Cowboys would be 7-3 or better if their defensive leader had been able to stay healthy this year.
But the reality is, the Cowboys don’t possess the depth to replace someone like Lee. And that could ultimately be Dallas’ fatal flaw. The Cowboys have had to play without several Pro Bowl players through their past two losses. Names like left tackle Tyron Smith, running back Ezekiel Elliott, kicker Dan Bailey and Lee. And there is simply no way to adequately replace them.
It’s the job of the Cowboys’ front office and coaching staff to be sure their back-ups are well-chosen, well-developed and well-prepared to perform when they are needed. And overall, the lack of quality depth across Dallas’ roster has been this team’s Achilles heel. But even the normal starters are failing to perform without the star support these missing pieces provide.
As for Sean Lee’s replacement, the Dallas Cowboys are expected to give linebackers Anthony Hitchens, Justin Durant and Jaylon Smith the impossible task of replacing Lee’s production on Thanksgiving. There is “no next man up” for a player like him. All we can ask is that his replacements are well-prepared and execute to the best of their abilities against the Chargers on Thursday.