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Sean Lee: Comeback Player Of The Year?

RJ Ochoa

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Cowboys Blog - Sean Lee: Comeback Player Of The Year? 4

It really is amazing that Tim Lincecum has ever thrown a pitch without it being intercepted by Sean Lee.

Allow me to explain.

On Sunday evening the Pro Bowl for the 2015 NFL season took place. The starting quarterback for "Team Rice" was Eli Manning. Our favorite awkward face'd Giant tossed a pass that was tipped and fell right into the arms of Sean Lee.

Cowboys Blog - Sean Lee: Comeback Player Of The Year?

As if it wasn't symbolic enough that the Dallas Cowboys trump the New York Giants, the residents of the Big Apple just couldn't leave Hawaii without embarrassing themselves just a little but further.

On a fake extra point, this is the Pro Bowl to be fair, Team Rice Kicker Josh Brown (another proud New York Giant) did his best Eli impersonation... literally.

Josh showed the world why his involvement with professional football revolves around the body part as far away from his arm as possible when he went full Eli and threw an interception to Sean Lee.

Lesson of the day? Sean Lee will intercept any Giant: New York, San Francisco, fictional, whatever. He owns them.

Cowboys Blog - Sean Lee: Comeback Player Of The Year? 1

Sean Lee owned a lot of people in 2015. He set a career high in tackles with 76 and, despite an "always injured" reputation, started 14 games for the Dallas Cowboys.

Oh and he did all of that after missing the entire 2014 season with a torn ACL (hence the reputation).

"The General" put an exclamation point on his 2015 with his Double Giant Interception (we call that a DGI here at ITS, my name is RJ so I like acronyms a lot...) in the Pro Bowl, but it was no anomaly for the season. Sean's performance merits some serious consideration for an award that is literally designated for players who have a great year after some type of trial... the NFL's Comeback Player Of The Year.

Now the overwhelming favorite to win the CPOY is Eric Berry of the Kansas City Chiefs. Berry battled his way back onto the playing field from Hodgkin's Lymphoma. The air that Berry breathes in and out every second is a true testament to why he should win this award, throw in his performance in 2015 and it's a lock. I won't argue that.

Cowboys Blog - Sean Lee: Comeback Player Of The Year? 2

All due respect to Eric Berry, if not for him would this be Sean Lee's to lose? The national media would, hypocritically, tell you that perhaps Adrian Peterson is worthy of winning it. Peterson did lead the league in rushing yards after missing a majority of 2014 (thanks to some pretty severe child abuse charges that people have conveniently forgotten), and from a strictly football perspective that's obviously impressive.

Arizona's Carson Palmer rebounded from the exact same injury that Sean Lee had, and Lee's Penn State teammate NaVorro Bowman missed all of 2014 with a torn ACL and MCL. Both are worthy nominees, but would they top Lee?

Cowboys Blog - Sean Lee: Comeback Player Of The Year? 3

It's hard to compare Palmer to either equally given that his influence on a game is much larger, but Bowman did lead the NFL in tackles (and Lee significantly). Bowman and Lee tied for the season in sacks (2.5 each), but Lee has him beat in the interceptions category (a whopper of a lead... 1-0).

When considering things fully this award rightfully belongs to Eric Berry, and if it weren't him it'd be hard to argue against NaVorro Bowman. All I'm saying is Sean Lee deserves some love. He's certainly in the top five for the award and deserves to at least be a nominee during NFL Honors on Saturday night. Sean was a big reason why the Cowboys were competitive when they were and Cowboys Nation wants him honored in any way that he can be for that effort.


RJ Ochoa on Fancred

Where would you rank Sean Lee in terms of the Comeback Player Of The Year candidates? Let me know! Comment below, Email me at Roel.Ochoa.Jr@Gmail.com, or Tweet to me at @rjochoa!

Tell us what you think about "Sean Lee: Comeback Player Of The Year?" in the comments below. You can also email me at RJ.Ochoa@SlantSports.com, or Tweet to me at @RJOchoa!



I like long walks on the beach, mystery novels, no just kidding those suck. The Dallas Cowboys were put on this earth for us all to love and appreciate. I do that 24/7/365. I also love chicken parmesan. Let's roll. @RJOchoa if you wanna shout!

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Travis Frederick Regains Strength in Hands, Influence in Cowboys OL Room

Sean Martin

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Travis Frederick Regains Strength in Hands, Influence in Cowboys OL Room 1

The Dallas Cowboys are coming off their most impressive win of the season, keeping playoff hopes alive on the road with a 27-20 victory at the Philadelphia Eagles. Entering the hostile home of the defending Super Bowl champions with three previous road losses already on their record, the Cowboys performance on Sunday night was truly about getting back to their roots. In their second week with Marc Colombo as the Offensive Line Coach, the Cowboys rushed for 171 yards and protected Dak Prescott very well. It was revealed after the game that Frederick was on a coaches headset with Colombo and his new assistant Hudson Houck.

Jane Slater on Twitter

Travis Frederick just told @BenRogers on @1053thefan that Marc Columbo has him on a coaches headset now helping him and Hudson Houck. That's a smart move from Columbo. Smartest guy on the line

The anchor of the Cowboys offensive line since being drafted in 2013, Frederick is regarded as the smartest linemen on the team. It's his mental edge that's made up for a slight lack of size at the position, regarded as one of the worst first round picks in his draft because of this oversight.

Not only is Frederick a welcome addition to the Cowboys brain trust at offensive line, but he did receive some great news on his battle with Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS) that's kept him out this season. Frederick was placed on injured reserve on October 6th, announcing publicly his GBS diagnosis on August 22nd.

Frederick has a long way to go before he's playing football again, not eligible to do so until week 14 at home against the Eagles. Regaining feeling in his hands is about the 2017 Walter Payton Man of the Year nominee getting as healthy as possible away from football. If a return to the Cowboys is possible through his recovery, the team would of course welcome Frederick.

Jon Machota on Twitter

Travis Frederick regains sensation in his hands: "There is some light at the end of the tunnel" https://t.co/wvQhB6KUQp

What Frederick has gained in upper body strength, he must remain patient for in the lower body. While pointing out that over 95% of patients make a full recovery from GBS, Frederick is still waiting to feel sensations in his feet.

The Cowboys have been optimistic that Frederick's condition was caught early enough for a full recovery to be probable.

Dallas' schedule doesn't get any easier following their uplifting win. Returning to the site of last year's demoralizing loss at the Falcons, Frederick likely wishes he could make a miraculous return just a bit more this week.

To make matters worse, Left Tackle Tyron Smith did not practice on Wednesday due to back spasms. It's unknown if rookie Connor Williams will reclaim his starting left guard spot on Sunday, or if Xavier Su'a-Filo has earned another opportunity.

Despite the patchwork nature of a Cowboys offensive line once regarded as the best in the league, and still vital to the entire team's success, Dallas has an abundance of hope that Sunday in Atlanta can be much better than 2017. This starts with Frederick's strength to fight GBS and attempt to rejoin his teammates, wisely given some added game day influence on them by Colombo.

If elevating their level of play up front was all it took for the Cowboys to play up to their potential and pull off an upset on prime time last week, the NFC East is certainly still within reach for a team that must now sustain the level of play on offense to match what this defense has given all season.

Tell us what you think about "Travis Frederick Regains Strength in Hands, Influence in Cowboys OL Room" in the comments below. You can also email me at Sean.Martin@InsideTheStar.com, or Tweet to me at @SeanMartinNFL!



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Cowboys LB Named NFC Defensive Player of the Week Against Eagles

Jess Haynie

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Leighton Vander Esch
Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

You already knew that Leighton Vander Esch, the Dallas Cowboys rookie linebacker, had a great night last Sunday in Philadelphia. Apparently the rest of the football world agreed, and now he's been named the NFC Defensive Player of the Week.

The award is the first of what could be many for Leighton, who has emerged as a defensive leader for the Cowboys. He's been playing more in the absence of veteran Sean Lee, who has been battling hamstring issues all season.

Dallas Cowboys on Twitter

THE. WOLF. HUNTER. Congratulations to #DallasCowboys rookie LB @VanderEsch38 on being named NFC Defensive Player of the Week! → https://t.co/XeSTt2tIpX

This is the second Player of the Week award for a Dallas Cowboys this season. Kicker Brett Maher won the Special Teams version in Week 4 after going 4-for-4 and hitting a game winner over the Detroit Lions.

The Defensive Player award hasn't gone to a Cowboys since Week of 2017, when DeMarcus Lawrence put up three sacks against the Arizona Cardinals.

Leighton's recognition is also well-earned. He led Dallas with 13 tackles and an interception in a pivotal road victory against a division rival. In what was arguably a "must-win" game for the Cowboys, their first-round pick stepped up and stood out.

A few more games like this, and Vander Esch could be in the running for the Defensive Rookie of the Year. But even above personal accolades, Leighton's play could help the Cowboys make a push in the NFC East.

If nothing else, he's making that first-round pick look smarter every week.



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Legendary Cowboys Quarterback Backs Dak Prescott

John Williams

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Takeaway Tuesday: Prescott's Legs Give Offense a Much Needed Spark

Things have not gone well for Dak Prescott this season. His play has been up and down and he hasn't given the team or Cowboys Nation much reason to believe that he's the future at the quarterback position for the Dallas Cowboys. Speaking to 105.3 FM The Fan in Dallas today, Legendary Dallas Cowboys Quarterback, Ring of Honor and Pro Football Hall of Fame member Roger Staubach offered support for the Cowboys current quarterback, Dak Prescott.

Staubach had this to say when asked about Dak Prescott.

Mark Lane on Twitter

Roger Staubach on @1053thefan said #Dak is a part of the problem with the #Cowboys offense, but he is not the problem.

Roger Staubach didn't start in the NFL until the third year of his career and thinks that's a good time for the quarterback to make the jump. At this point, we are 40 games into Dak Prescott's NFL career and we can see some of the things that he's good at as well as some of the things that he struggles with.

As Staubach points out, Dak Prescott has the intangibles that you look for in a quarterback, even if his play hasn't been what you'd want at the position. Roger admits that Dak shoulders some of the blame for the offensive woes of the last 16 games, but realizes that there are  many reasons for the Cowboys offensive failures this season.

Roger Staubach believes that the Dallas Cowboys can win with Dak Prescott as their starting quarterback despite some of the flaws that have crept up over the last 16 games. He's not wrong.

Staubach's pretty accurate in his assessment that there's been more good than bad. If you look at the first 24 games of Dak Prescott's career, he was really good. Through the last 16 games, he's struggled at times. So technically there's been more good than bad. The problem is that over the last 16 games, there's been more bad than good. The NFL is a "what have you done for me lately" league and lately Dak hasn't done much. We can debate all day on how much of the struggles Prescott's faced are on him, but everyone should be willing to admit that some of the struggles are on him.

It's plausible that the confidence in Prescott that Jerry Jones has comes from Roger's belief that the Cowboys can win games with Dak Prescott at quarterback; and they have. In Prescott's career, the Dallas Cowboys are 25-15. Though wins are a team stat and not a quarterback stat, it just goes as evidence that Dak Prescott can be a winning quarterback in the National Football League.

Dak has some flaws, but the offense and its play caller haven't helped Prescott much this season. We should be critical of Prescott because he has a big pay day coming, if you believe Jerry Jones. While Dak has some flaws, he also has some traits that can make him a good quarterback in the NFL with the right coaching situation behind him. 2018 may be running out of time for the Dallas Cowboys and their playoff prospects, but the Cowboys have time before they have to make a decision on Prescott.



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