Sean Lee’s Injury Leaves No Defense in Big D
Sean Lee, the Dallas Cowboys starting inside linebacker, is the first major injury in the NFL this season after tearing the ACL in his left knee. It also doomed the Cowboys season.
Dallas has literally been the definition of average as they’ve finished 8-8 each of the last three seasons with no playoff berths. Thanks to owner/GM/guy-who-probably-owns-lots-of-self-portraits Jerry Jones, the team is also poorly managed within the salary cap. They have a seemingly annual restructuring party followed by notable roster cuts and free agent departures, which cripples their ability to improve.
The most glaring case is actually this past offseason. Heading into the offseason the Cowboys were projected to be $31 million dollars over the cap. As a result, Jones kicked off the annual restructuring party by fine tuning Tony Romo’s six-year $106 million deal one year after it was signed. He then finagled Lee and cornerback Orlando Scandrick to shift some money around to get the Cowboys nearly cap compliant.
Since the Cowboys still had more money to shed from the books Jones had forced himself to release future Hall of Famer, seven-time Pro Bowler, and team icon DeMarcus Ware for cap reasons. He’s now a part of what looks like Peyton Manning’s last stand in Denver. Then Jason Hatcher, who earned his first Pro Bowl vote in 2013, was allowed to hit the market and signed with a division rival in the Washington Redskins. The only quality players left on the Cowboys defense were Sean Lee, Brandon Carr, and free agent signing Henry Melton.
The roster moves alone were devastating for the Cowboys when you look back at the numbers. For the 2013 season the Cowboys were one of the league’s worst units. They had the 7th most points allowed, 2nd most penalties, and the most yards allowed per game in the league. They were awful even with Ware and Hatcher. Now Lee is gone too. How will this team survive?
They won’t thanks to Jerry Jones. May he own the Cowboys forever.
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