The Cowboys certainly think highly of their second-round selection, Sean Lee. Getting him with the 55th overall pick on Friday suggests great value considering Lee was a Top 16 player on their board.
Some may feel that the selection was based more on the team's projected value rather than filling a need. But with inside 'backer being a key ingredient to the Wade Phillips base 3-4 and the fact that veteran Keith Brooking will be 35 in October, it seems like now is a good time to inject some youth at the position.
Besides, Bobby Carpenter, Jason Williams, and the recently moved Steve Octavien are all Dallas has behind Brooking and Bradie James. While all three of these backups have had or may have roles on the team, there's nothing wrong with adding a true gamer to the bunch.
Both Coach Phillips and Jerry Jones say that Sean Lee reminds them of Keith Brooking. Not a bad comparison. Here's Phillips on Lee:
"He fundamentally does all the things that you need a linebacker to do, and he plays well in space, too," Phillips said.
"There really aren’t any weaknesses as far as his game goes. You don’t find very often in inside ‘backers."
Jerry Jones on Lee:
"He’s got tremendous makeup and the athletic ability to go with it," Jones said. "It would surprise me if a guy like Sean Lee is not playing a lot of plays."
More from Coach Phillips:
"Penn State has always had a great tradition of linebackers, and I think he fits well with that tradition," Phillips said.
"They have had a lot of great linebackers come out of there and we think he has a chance to be one of those. He is very active and very strong. He is one of those players with really strong legs and you really play with your legs. The power he has in his legs really helps him to be a good player in space and a good player when he has to meet blockers and get off blocks."
DC.com has the Sean Lee Conference Call.
Jerry Jones calls Lee to tell him he's a Cowboy.
The Blitz discusses the Lee selection, and linebackers coach Reggie Herring comments on his new player.
Highlights from Scout.com's Q&A with Lee:
ON FITTING IN AS A ROOKIE: "I am coming in to a team full of leaders. There are four linebackers at the top of their game right now. I'm just going to relish it and try to learn from them as much as possible. I am going to come in and work hard and try to help the team win in any way possible."
ON HIS POSSIBLE ROLE: "I have watched the two inside linebackers and I am going to guess it is going to be in one of those positions that I will probably learn and be tutored when I get there. In the future I will probably play in one of those positions."
ON WADE PHILLIPS' STYLE: "I blitzed a lot as a junior back in 2007. I try to pride myself in being able to be effective in any part of the game whether it is run, pass or blitz."
Lee on learning from Keith Brooking:
"He still plays with an unbelievable amount of passion and intensity," Lee said of Brooking, who turns 35 in October.
"It is really fun to watch him, and I am hoping to learn from him just like I learned from the guys from Penn State. I hope to learn what it takes to be successful in the NFL, how to practice, how hard you need to train, some of the technique work and some of the reads. "By watching him, I feel like I can make myself a better football player."
Keith Brooking on Lee:
"We have a lot of pride in what we do," Brooking said. "Everything I’ve heard about this kid is he approaches it that way and he’s going to come in here and perfect his craft and he’ll fit right in with what we’re trying to get done."
Jason Williams' tweets regarding how Lee will fit:
I'm pleased with the draft thus far
he's a mike, I'm a mo
Brook and I are the mo's. Lee is a great LB. I'm looking forward to seeing him here.
You must check out GonzoBallSHU's Sean Lee Feature FanShot. It's great to hear what his Penn St. teammates had to say about him. Is he Superman?
And for the SBN Penn State blog's perspective, read Dave's post.
Now, just sit and watch Lee in action.
Ed. Note - Next in this series: What They're Saying About Akwasi-Owusu Ansah.