Finally, Sean Lee returns. After missing four games with a leg injury, the Cowboys’ second best defender – or perhaps, player – will make his way back onto the field tonight.
The fan-favorite #50 probably couldn’t come back at a better time. While the Cowboys are fresh off of two wins, the team needs all the help it can get in staving off a surging Philadelphia Eagles team, as a loss would mean surrendering first place in the division.
Before worrying about the Eagles, however, Lee and the Cowboys face a tough task against a resilient Chicago Bears team, who have managed to run a high-powered offense despite being without star quarterback Jay Cutler. Rather, 11-year vet and Sam Houston State product Josh McCown has proven himself more than capable of feeding Brandon Marshall and protege Alshon Jeffery.
It’s not only the passing game, mind you, which will present a challenge for the Cowboys defense. Matt Forte, one of the most consistent backs in the league, will surely make Lee hesitate before dropping back into coverage.
If the Cowboys are to be successful, Sean Lee will have to resume his leadership role quickly, as our D is simply out-matched here in many respects. Brandon Carr will have his hands full with Marshall, and Morris Claiborne + Orlando Scandrick are simply not physical enough to contain Jeffrey by themselves. Thus, the safeties, and even Lee, will need to provide a lot of help in coverage.
Additionally, look for Forte and the boulder that is Michael Bush to pound the ball hard against an injury-plagued defensive line. Lee and others will not only have to help in the secondary, but they will also be looked at to plug any holes in the line.
Many expect Sean Lee to settle back into his role quickly, and that’s exactly what the team needs. However, it won’t matter much how he performs if there is no help from the other defenders. We need the likes of Bruce Carter and George Selvie to get back into form, and Barry Church needs to re-locate the high intensity he started off the season with.
Tonight’s game will be tough, but one thing is for sure: the Dallas Cowboys are a much better team when #50 is on the field.