Sean Lee played for the Dallas Cowboys for 11 seasons. Although numerous injuries have left many to wonder what could have been for Lee, his excellent play when he was healthy got him respect from his teammates, peers, and fans of America's Team.
Lee recently hung up the cleats for good and retired from the game of football. With the rigorous preparation for an NFL season now a thing of the past, Lee has time to reflect on his career and those he played with.
Earlier this week, he joined The Herd with Colin Cowherd on FS1. The former All-Pro spoke on several topics, and one was his former teammate Dak Prescott. When asked what was the moment he knew Prescott was ready to take over as the Cowboys leader, Lee had this to say about what the fourth-round pick showed during his first training camp.
“You know, during that training camp, you know, [Tony] Romo, he would take every couple days off,” Lee said. “And Dak was the quarterback back. So normally with a rookie quarterback on defense, we’re like we’re getting picks all day today. We’re about to beat the offense up. And so a two-minute drill late in practice. I’m like, I know the play. I know what’s coming. It’s a slant to Dez [Bryant]. I’m gonna go get this. I break on it. I go to get it. He puts it on the back shoulder of Dez, perfectly thrown no problem. And he had done that all practice. … I mean, that’s been him from the start is how cool he is, how it composes. Another thing is how he faces adversity. Anytime there’s adversity, he says, ‘Bring it on.’ And that’s what I know with the injury is he’s coming back better than he was.”
Prescott has proven, especially in the previous two seasons, that he was worth a lot more than a fourth-round pick in 2016. However, his impact goes beyond the field and spills over into the locker room. Lee took some time to explain who Prescott is as a leader.
“I think Dak, what makes him special is that he leads from the front,” Lee said. “He doesn’t want a different relationship. He wants to be running with you. He wants to be lifting with you. I mean, that’s why I think from day one guys loved him so much is because he’s going around the locker room talking to everybody, the rookies that are in the back locker room, you’ll find him back there talking to them. So for him that never was an issue and really for our team, that was never an issue. He was always part of the guys, part of us. And so when he did get paid, and when we celebrated, we loved it, because he deserves it.”
When you play for the Cowboys you understand that you are going to be under a different microscope than you would if you were a member of another organization with all the exposure they get. However, according to Lee, being a Cowboy was about more than that, and when asked what his experience was like in Dallas he mentioned the support he received no matter what he went through.
“It’s incredible,” Lee said. “I mean, that tradition, walking in there and seeing the tradition that they have and the guys who’ve won Super Bowls. I mean, I used to get calls from Lee Roy Jordan when I was injured trying to motivate me to come back, and so we saw it as an extreme responsibility to try to live up to what they did in the past. You know, I said, I wore that on my sleeve every day when I came in this facility, I’m like, I get to be a Cowboy? Are you kidding me? In this facility, in this state, with the support that we can get? And even through all my injuries, what I loved was I got support from so many fans. no matter what I came back from and teammates and from [Jerry] Jones. So, to me, I probably would have been out of the league a long time ago if I wasn’t a Cowboy.”
“The General” as he's known might not be away from the Cowboys for long as he's mentioned that coaching could be in his future. If that's the case, the idea of Lee being a mentor for the Cowboys linebackers, especially rookies Micah Parsons and Jabril Cox, is an intriguing one, to say the least.