Sean Lee is going to take some time to decide his future, just like he did last eyar.
Lee took the same approach last year and decided to return on a one-year deal. This time around?
“I this team, I love this organization, love playing the game, and as you get older, it is what it is. You get older and you question things,” he said after the Cowboys’ season-ending 23-19 loss to the Giants. “I still think I have a lot to give, but at the same point, you acknowledge as you get older physically, things change. I’ll take time. I’ll talk to the family and really think it through.”
“You can’t make decisions in-season or right after the season. You need a perspective of getting away from it further,” he said. “And you think about yourself physically, you think about yourself mentally, and then role-wise can you still help the team, can you do it on the field and play a role where you know that you can make sure you’re helping the team win. So you have to check all those boxes and know it 100% before you make a commitment to come back.
“That will be the process I go through. Can I help us? Physically, can I continue to do this? Mentally, am I ready? You really look deep into those before you make a commitment.”
It’s not something he plans to rush.
“It’s a harder decision than I thought it would be, so we’ll see what happens,” he said. “I’ll take some time. But I’ve been so lucky and so blessed.”
Updates: Amari Cooper Undergoes Ankle Scope - Nick Eatman, Rob Phillips & David Helman. The Mothership
Donovan Wilson turned in a rare performance in Cowboys safety history.
No matter the team, or even the defensive alignment, the safety position is demanding one, where players are asked to do a variety of things.
This season, Donovan Wilson was one of the few bright spots on the Cowboys’ defense, mainly because he helped in many areas.
Wilson became just the third safety in Cowboys history to record three sacks, two interceptions and over 70 tackles in a season, joining Bill Bates (1987) and Darren Woodson (1996).
Wilson, who started just 10 games this season, had both a sack and an interception in the regular-season finale against the Giants, finished with 71 tackles, 3.5 sacks and two picks.
Let’s just say the Cowboys defense gave up a lot of points, and their run defense was a major issue.
The Cowboys actually climbed out of the cellar and up to 28th in points allowed in the final weeks. But, needless to say, the playoff teams traveled a different route when it comes to defense. The teams that ranked 1-2-3-4-5 in points surrendered (Rams, Ravens, Steelers, Washington, Saints) are playing football this weekend.
Seven of the top 10 and 12 of the top 16 are in the playoff field. The only teams outside the top half in points allowed are Cleveland (21st) and Tennessee (24th).
The similar number to examine — and this has been a key number ever since I did something called the Super Bowl Formula 30 years ago that looked at what it takes to win championships — is run defense. It may seem anachronistic in a pass-happy era, but it’s not. If your team is coughing up easy rushing yards, well, it probably stinks against the pass, too.
The Cowboys ranked 31st and gave up more yards rushing than any Dallas team except Dave Campo’s first season (2000). That won’t come close to getting it done if you want to play in January. Again the top five made the playoffs (Bucs, Colts, Rams, Saints, Seahawks). Seven of the top 10 and 11 of the top 15 are in. The only clubs past the halfway mark are Buffalo (17th), Tennessee (19th) and Kansas City (21st).
Fans and writers from other teams are pushing their front-offices to look at Dak.
Garoppolo might not be the long-term fixture of the franchise anyway. He’s missed the bulk of two out of three seasons with serious injuries, and it’s been a recurring theme to question how much he boosts head coach Kyle Shanahan’s offense. While Shanahan clearly wins with Garoppolo, another higher-profile quarterback could make San Francisco’s situation under center shine even more.
Prescott’s situation last year was messy, putting it lightly. After being a pinnacle piece Dallas would ideally like to build around, Prescott was instead slapped with the franchise tag before suffering a season-ending ankle injury in Week 5.
At 27 years old, the hope is for a full recovery, putting him on track to be on the field again in 2021.
It would be foolish for the Cowboys to pass on retaining Prescott, and it’s a fair argument they should have offered him what could have been a record-breaking extension instead of using a fully guaranteed $31.4 million franchise tag. Should Dallas go that route again, the tag could cost $37.7 million.
Hindsight isn’t working in the Cowboys’ favor here.
One of the Cowboys draft class made an All-Rookie team, but surprisingly CeeDee Lamb is not the one.
[Trevon] Diggs was one of a handful of prospects that the Cowboys considered with the No. 17 overall pick. Low (sic) and behold, he was still available for Dallas in the second round and played like one of the most impressive rookie corners this season.
While he had his share of rookie mistakes and missed four games due to injury, Diggs finished tied for the rookie lead with three interceptions and his 14 passes defended ranked second among first-year players. He also had the lowest burn rate (53.8%) among rookies and committed only three penalties.
Final line from his scouting report: Overall, Diggs needs to clean up his technique and discipline in coverage to reach his full potential, but he has shown improvement in those areas and projects as an NFL starter due to his size, twitch and competitive nature.
Are a couple of the Cowboys cornerbacks on their way out?
2. Chidobe Awuzie, Cornerback
Heading into a contract season, Chidobe Awuzie had a lot of eyes on him. Not only was he trying to fill the shoes of Byron Jones, but there was also some renewed hope that a new defensive scheme could do him wonders. And the start of the season seemed to be going well for him as he had a pass defense and interception in the opening weekend against the Los Angeles Rams.
Then, Awuzie was hurt in Week 2 and missed every game until Week 11. When he returned, he was decent but never jumped off the page. In the end, it appeared he was a similar fit to Mike Nolan’s scheme as he was Rod Marinelli’s — which wasn’t great.
Having said that, Awuzie is still a talented player but he knows that he needs to play elsewhere to make the most of his career. On top of that, he will command more money than Dallas will be willing to pay at the position.
Rookie Trevon Diggs not only played better than Awuzie this season but he’s younger and much more affordable. Chances are, the Cowboys continue to let him groom into the No. 1 cornerback role while also looking for more help in the draft as they try and find their next Byron Jones.
Bonus: Jourdan Lewis
As an added bonus, Awuzie won’t be the only corner to leave. Dallas added him in the second round of the 2017 NFL Draft and then in Round 3, they took Jourdan Lewis from Michigan. He too will likely join Awuzie in the open market, especially after the way he struggled down the stretch in 2020 when called upon.
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