June 11, 2013; Irving, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee (50) in action against running back DeMarco Murray (29) during minicamp at Dallas Cowboys Headquarters. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Mailbag: Dallas Cowboys, Sean Lee, and New Contracts

“You are wrong about Sean Lee. He’s going to be a stud and needs to be resigned right now. ” – Rick

Hey, I never said he wasn’t going to be a star (or stud). I simply said, based on what we know of his injury history, we should wait to see how this year goes. If we pay him like a Pro Bowler he better play like a Pro Bowler and do so all season long. That has never happened in his career. But this is my general philosophy on all players – not just Sean Lee. My thoughts are franchises are destroyed when teams offer bad contracts to underperforming or injured players. There is nothing wrong with paying more money next year to make sure the right decision is made. Good decisions don’t hurt franchises. It’s the bad decisions that hurt.

I like the way players perform in the final year of their contract. I know it’s nerve-racking to think they could escape in free agency but that’s the price you pay. More often than not you are still going to be able to resign a player even if they have a career year. If not, you still have the franchise tag. Look at Anthony Spencer. The Cowboys weren’t sure if they wanted to resign him or not so they let him just play in 2012. He responded with his best year. I don’t think that would have happened had they locked him up long-term.

I would let Sean Lee play out his contract, Bruce Carter play out his contract, DeMarco Murray play out his contract, even Hatcher play out his contract. I would then decide who I felt comfortable resigning and who I should let go. The only player I’m absolutely convinced of is Dez Bryant. I would make an exception for him because I know he’s breaking out and is a Top-3 WR in this league. He’s also very young and brings an element of risk but I believe he’s transcendent and worth the risk. Hypocritical of me? Maybe.

The Cowboys have an irrational fear of the unknown, therefore they resign their players rather than risk seeing what’s around the corner. If they trusted their scouts they would know what’s around the corner. This is acceptable behavior when you’re a 12-4 Super Bowl contender but not a perennial 8-8 team outside of the playoffs altogether.

For the record – I love Sean Lee and I’ll be disappointed if he doesn’t make his first Pro Bowl this year. But that’s coming from my heart and gut. My brain says he’s going to get hurt again. That’s why I would rather wait and see.

Do you have questions or comments regarding Dallas area sports? Email Reid at [email protected]. You may be included in the next weekly mailbag. Follow Reid on twitter @ReidDHanson

Tags: Anthony Spencer Dallas Cowboys Dez Bryant Sean Lee

  • Ken Menees

    I agree with much of your Philosophy! Why cant a Team sign a Player with something like Conditional goals? such as Number of plays, and Health Considered? I know it would be Difficult because of Team Dr.’s vs Personal Dr.’s! But If I were a Player , I would Insist on it! Maybe thats why I still repair Airplanes instead of Playing! lol……