The Dallas Cowboys have seen an enormous change at the linebacker position this offseason. Consider that the events of the last month, while a few predictable, have been almost a total re-shuffling of the deck in the middle of the defense. Just before the 2021 NFL Draft the Cowboys saw veteran Sean Lee retire, and then almost immediately after spent top draft picks on Micah Parsons and Jabril Cox. A few days after that they declined the fifth-year option on Leighton Vander Esch.
Obviously every move is done with the objective of improving the team as much as possible, and clearly the organization feels that moving forward with the likes of Parsons and Cox is what is best for the linebacker group as a whole. Vander Esch has had moments during his career with the Cowboys, as has his running mate Jaylon Smith, but Sean Lee is the last player to have any sort of sustained excellence at the position.
As noted, Lee’s retirement was a bit predictable, but as true as that is it will still be strange getting used to seeing the team without him. Maybe someday he’ll return to America’s Team as a coach, but as of now he seems to be enjoying retirement which includes appearing on different shows and such since, well, he is in fact coming from America’s Team.
Lee Roy Jordan used to call Sean Lee when he was injured to try and motivate him to return
The General was often soft-spoken during his career with the Cowboys which makes the fact that he appeared on a national radio show less than a month into retirement feel so weird. Nevertheless, Lee was a guest on The Herd with Colin Cowherd on Tuesday and discussed a variety of things. You can listen to the full interview right here.
One of the cooler things that Lee talked about was how much he appreciated the tradition involved with the storied franchise that is the Cowboys. He shared that franchise great and Ring of Honor member Lee Roy Jordan used to call him when he was injured to try to motivate him to return.
There are few organizations in all of professional sports like the Dallas Cowboys. It is interesting to see the fraternity of the linebacker position that the organization has, and that Lee Roy Jordan would continue to be a part of the team in this kind of way, even so many years after his playing days are over.
Of course, Lee also spoke about current events when it comes to the Cowboys and discussed the team’s defense that was, um, not great last season. He noted that he believes in Dan Quinn and that the group can get it back together in 2021.
It is definitely interesting that Lee said that the linebackers were “especially” frustrated with what happened last season. He didn’t name names, but it stands to reason that Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch are within the group who feels that way. Collectively the defense was bad last season, but the poor linebacker play went a long way in determining exactly how the Cowboys handled the draft.
While Lee spoke about a number of things it wouldn’t be a true Dallas Cowboys interview if he wasn’t asked about Dak Prescott. He noted that even as a rookie Dak was supremely impressive and expressed full confidence in his return this upcoming season.
In case anybody has forgotten over the past five years, Romo would in fact be afforded veteran days off due to his physical status later in his career. There is no need to read too far into that.
Clearly Dak Prescott was supreme as a rookie though, if he hadn’t been things would not be the way that they are in the here and now. Lee joked that Cowboys players gave Prescott a hard time about his new contract (in a congratulatory way) and said that the team’s quarterback deserves everything that he’s gotten.