Dallas Cowboys: Is linebacker Sean Lee passing the torch?
By Broe Reeve
Dallas Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee is injured again. Is the 32-year old Pro Bowler finally passing on the torch on defense? It appears so.
It looks like the Dallas Cowboys will have to rely on the defense to win games this year. The offense hasn’t shown up yet and doesn’t look like they will anytime soon either. In years past that would mean it’s all up to linebacker Sean Lee and company to save the day.
That may not be the case this year in Dallas. Lee is great when he is healthy. But once again he’s injured (hamstring) and it appears he’s going to miss some time. However, the Cowboys hedged their bets by reinvesting at the linebacker position and this is the beginning of Lee passing the torch on defense.
In the first round of the 2018 NFL Draft, the Cowboys selected linebacker Leighton Vander Esch with the 19th overall pick. He’s been getting more playing time in each game, and now that Lee is going to miss a few weeks, this is his chance to shine.
Through three games, Vander Esch already has 20 tackles. He was all over the field against the Seattle Seahawks on Sunday finishing with 10 tackles for the game. Big for a linebacker at 6-foot-4, 256 pounds, Vander Esch can also run and is a tackling machine.
Linebacker Jaylon Smith is finally healthy and the Cowboys are seeing results from their former second-round investment. Smith made his way back from a career-threatening knee injury and he’s a playmaker.
Smith’s explosion is back this season and he already has 22 tackles and 2.0 sacks. He was a good blitzing backer in college and he’s constantly getting pressure when they call his number. If this is a lost season, his shellacking of New York Giants quarterback Eli Manning in Week Two makes up for some of it.
Sean Lee is and has been the quarterback of the defense. He’s had over 100 tackles in three straight seasons and he will be missed. The Cowboys went 1-4 last year in games Lee was sidelined, but for the first time in a long time, this team has depth on defense.
Cowboys fans should look forward to the return of Sean Lee, but nobody beats Father Time.
Now you know. HIt me up @broeham on Twitter.