I love Sean Lee. Great, great player. But I couldn’t get too excited about him being out for the year.
I’m really happy for people who live in a world where expecting Sean Lee to play even most of the season is still reasonable! That sounds like a nice world. But here we are.
Lee has played 17 games over the last two seasons, more or less one NFL season, and a lot of them WITH injuries that limited his effectiveness. This happens to lots of people in football, which is a sport where a lot of large, muscular people are constantly attacking each other. In the Flozell Adams years, especially the years before his name became synonymous with “false start,” it seemed like the ‘Boys were always ticking along okay until Flozell went down and the season disappeared.
And that’s the problem with your Sean Lees. Having him for part of the season is great. I think of him like I think of a good friend who has become a parent: no bitterness, I’ll just see them when I see them. I enjoy it, and I’ll miss that since he’s out for the whole thing.
But at 8-8, a consistent, perpetual 8-8, an 8-8 like banging your head on a low hanging ceiling, the Cowboys aren’t trying to make the playoffs, they’re trying to win a playoff game. Maybe two. They’re trying to make any kind of noise. The decent regular season thing is played out, the dad joke of NFL experiences. The Cowboys want to threaten, or else there’s no point. Like Hamlet said, “my thoughts be bloody or be nothing worth.”
To that end, having Sean Lee for 10 or 11 games doesn’t matter if he can’t make it all the way to the playoffs. You do need those games to get in and without him they may not get them. But who cares? I don’t need to watch a Week 17 loss just for the hell of it.
I don’t really believe in injury prone, although obviously I believe a compromised physical system is more vulnerable to re-injury. That being said, Sean Lee could find a way to play, or find new body armor, or get granted an adamantine skeleton, and play 16-18 games next year. It could happen.
But until it does, it’s hard not to feel that we always knew that Cowboys defense was eventually going to have to survive without him this year. They’re getting a bit of a head start this year, and that sucks. Hard to feel, though, that this changes much about games 15 and 16.