More

    Sean’s Scout: How Much Will The Cowboys Miss LB Sean Lee?

    The Cowboys' week ten loss in Atlanta to the Falcons left plenty in with an uneasy feeling, myself included. Playing in the first of what we now know will be six straight games without RB , the Cowboys watched as their protection of took them out of the game offensively as filled in for the injured .

    Green's awful day of work overshadowed just about everything else that went wrong for the now 5-4 Cowboys on the afternoon, set to host the division leading 8-1 Eagles on Sunday night. exited this game in the first quarter, and will not be back on the field this week to help Dallas slow down and Philadelphia.

    Prior to giving up 336 yards to the Falcons without Lee for the majority of it, the Cowboys faced the Rams at Packers at home in weeks four and five. Conceding over 30 points in both losses while allowing over 160 rushing yards in each, the Cowboys have shown nothing defensively that proves they can handle life without their general on the field.

    I cut up the film to study why this is the case for 's unit. Let's take a look at the front seven, sans Sean Lee, in this new edition of Sean's Scout.

    The simple reason the Cowboys fail to hold up defensively without Sean Lee is because of the quality of players they have behind him that get forced into action. Clearly, at this point in his career is not ready to be an every down MIKE in Dallas.

    Jaylon's rare flashes this season have come when Lee is playing his usual WILL position alongside him, as Sean's initial read and pursuit of the play allows Smith to seek the ball and finish.

    Lined up as the sole LB on the field with here though, the inside drive from at RDE forces Hitchens to play the cutback lane on this touchdown run. does his job as the 1T DT in drawing a double team, but the makes a better play by climbing to the second level and finishing off an out-of-position Smith.

    The lack of instincts, playing speed, and ability to get off blocks at linebacker without Sean Lee is a glaring weakness for the Cowboys right now that stuck out time after time on this tape.

    https://streamable.com/w1qt6

    is yet another player that has been forced to play out of position without Lee, although he's taken strides as a unique SAM linebacker with some ability to play WILL. Lined up at MIKE on this gash, both Wilson and Jaylon Smith fail to shoot their gaps with clean technique or readiness to bring down a physical back like Gurley.

    The Rams do block this play exceptionally well, but having the likes of Wilson, Smith, and later all wiped out of the play is an ominous sign for a Cowboys preparing to deal with LeGarrette Blount and .

    https://streamable.com/ln8nf

    Going back to the Cowboys loss to the Packers, you'll see Anthony Hitchens look to make the play coming across at SAM here as opposed to playing a cutback lane at WILL. That is Jaylon Smith lined up once again as the only other LB on the field, and as Hitchens gets caught on a block there is nobody but Smith – already lagging behind the play – to stop the speedy Aaron Jones from turning this rush up into the second and third level.

    https://streamable.com/oim43

    So much of what the Dallas Cowboys do defensively is rooted in gap integrity across all levels. If players at any point lose their gaps, big plays are going to be there for opposing offenses. In this clip from last week's loss, an over aggressive Jaylon Smith actually runs into Anthony Hitchens – who was looking to take on the block of the and squeeze the run.

    In studying these games, it didn't matter if it was Smith, Hitchens, , , or Kavon Frazier down in the box for Dallas. Sean Lee just means too much as the rallying force for his Cowboys defense, a masterful LB when it comes to fundamentally using his eyes, feet, and hands to constantly put himself in position to make impact plays.

    The Eagles are coming into on Sunday night with one of the more efficient offenses in the entire league. As a decision maker, it would be hard to find many quarterbacks executing at a higher level that Carson Wentz right now – as his Eagles have also relied heavily on a deep rotation of RBs getting the job done.

    The “glass half full” way to look at the Cowboys loss to the Falcons was that they ideally had to fix only the LT position to get back to competing. Now, they must prepare for the possibility of playing without Tyron Smith once again, in addition to LB Sean Lee.

    Failing to win a game on this trying without Lee thus far, Rod Marinelli is going to have to put together something pretty special in finding a way to compensate for this loss on a prime time stage.

    spot_imgspot_imgspot_img
    Sean Martin
    Sean Martinhttp://wmscradio.com/show/upon-further-review/
    Born January 28th, 1996- Cowboys Super Bowl XXX. Point Boro Panther, Montclair State Red Hawk, and most importantly a proud member of Cowboys Nation! I host "Upon Further Review" on 90.3 WMSC FM and wmscradio.com every Friday from 1-4 PM ET. Twitter: @SeanMartinNFL.

    Latest

    Cowboys penalty problem might cut their season short again

    The Dallas Cowboys have put themselves in a spot...

    DeMarcus Ware, Darren Woodson Semifinalists for Pro Football Hall of Fame 2023

    Two of the biggest names on the defensive side...

    Cowboys season looks brighter as easier opponents approach

    The Dallas Cowboy community has been looking forward to...

    CeeDee Lamb’s career and accomplishments throughout his life

    Wide Receiver CeeDee Lamb is a well-known player in...

    Newsletter

    Daily Cowboys News in Your Inbox
    Name:*
    Your email address:*
    Please enter all required fields Click to hide
    Correct invalid entries Click to hide

    Trending Now

    Cowboys Reveal New Uniforms for Week 17 vs Titans

    Another uniform emerges for the Dallas Cowboys to wear...

    Why are the Dallas Cowboys Considered “America’s Team?”

    The Dallas Cowboys are one National Football League team...

    Cowboys Nostalgia: Before Jerry Jones

    25 years ago Jerry Jones bought the Dallas Cowboys...

    The Star: Getting Inside the Dallas Cowboys New Home

    The Dallas Cowboys star logo is one of the...

    Diggs Island – Trevon Diggs is entering elite status

    It’s hard to find a cornerback that is under...

    Fantasy Outlook: It’s Hard to Trust any Cowboys Player Next Season

    I am already looking forward to my fantasy football...

    Just How Big Is the Cowboys Fanbase?

    We all know who the Dallas Cowboys are, and...

    Will Jalen Tolbert suit up again this season?

    The third-round pick out of South Alabama has been...

    The history of Micah Parsons

    Time to get to know another Cowboy a little bit better. Linebacker Micah Parsons is up for a detailed look at his entire football...

    Cowboys football: Midseason grades for every postion group

    As we stand at the half-point of this year's NFL season, the Dallas Cowboys sit nice and pretty at 6-2. Personally, I never envisioned...

    Where Was Micah Parsons in the Giants Game?

    Yes, Linebacker Micah Parsons did play against the New York Giants, yet his stats were very limited to his previous games. What went different...

    3 COMMENTS

    3 Comments
    Oldest
    Newest Most Voted
    Inline Feedbacks
    View all comments
    Randy Martin

    Sean as much of an optimist as I am, I am more of a realist. Past history speaks loudly about what happens when Lee is out and it ain’t pretty. And we saw how exposed we were on the O-Line last week. Unless Marinelli has a completely different look this week that will keep Philly off-balance and unless we can score, unlike last week, I just don’t have a good feeling this week. That being said, this will be a true test of our mettle this week as, in my opinion this is a do-or-die week for us. A win and we are 2 back of Philly, a loss and we are 4 back with no hope of the NFC East, and little to none of the Wild Card. If we lose, I say let’s see more of the young guns and back ups the rest of the season and find out where all our holes (I think we already know) are and plan for next season.

    Travis Diggs

    Without Lee this defense reminds me of lost kids in the amusement park who cant find their parents. Everybodys confidence is shot which leaves them bird watching

    CountLippy

    They are a sub par nfl defense without him, a better than average defense with him.

    Good luck “fixing” that.