Dallas Cowboys: Should Sean Lee start when he returns?

Leighton Vander Esch #55 of the Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Leighton Vander Esch #55 of the Dallas Cowboys (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images) /

The Dallas Cowboys have stated that Sean Lee will become the starter once he is healthy. Is this the right move for Big D?

The Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones recently stated that he believes that Sean Lee will take over the starting job when he returns from injury. While his return date is not set, the Cowboys have been on a role without Lee in the lineup. Just where will he fit in when he returns? Let’s take a look.

Currently, Lee would start over Leighton Vander Esch who is in line for defensive rookie of the year. The tandem of LVE and Jaylon Smith has been a game-breaking duo and major factors in the victory over the New Orleans Saints. LVE and Smith tackled everything and looked absolutely unstoppable.

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Surely this means LVE has done enough to keep the “starting” job right? Well apparently not, and the reasoning is somewhat understandable, Sean Lee is a very good linebacker. Most fans questions seem to revolve around why can’t the team seem to find a way to incorporate their three most productive linebackers at the same time.

A lineup with Lee, LVE, and Smith seems almost unfair at this point, a truly elite and special unit but Rod Marinelli’s defense works best when players can be substituted at will. This means that starters rarely end up on the field for the defense every snap unless your someone like DeMarcus Lawrence and even he takes breaks from time to time.

So saying Lee will be the starter may not be as impactful as it is viewed by the media. Lee also commands a ton of respect from this defensive unit and has been the player mentoring LVE the most.

But a side by side comparison of the two really makes you question whether or not Dallas would be making the right decision. LVE is 6’4, 256 pounds while Lee is 6’2 and 245 pounds. Lee’s lighter frame could be the reason as to why he has been so injury prone but it could also be because he makes a ton of tackles.

LVE has played in more games and thus his stats are better for 2018 as he is a defensive rookie of the year candidate. LVE has two interceptions and 103 tackles, that is incredible. Now with Lee’s experience trumping everything that LVE has done so far, doesn’t it make sense to move him to Damien Wilson’s spot?

I mean Lee is a versatile a linebacker as you can get, he also was only moved to weakside linebacker as a way to help him stay healthy (a lot of good that has done). Statistically speaking Wilson has had a pretty solid season so far but I don’t think you could compare the impact he has versus Lee when they are on the field.

It would be in the Dallas Cowboys best interest to put all three of their best linebackers on the field when it is required. When you think about it, Lee is one of the few players in the NFL who could come in and demand his starting role back as he is still seen as the quarterback for the Dallas Cowboys defense.

One thing to be a bit cautious of is whether or not this move could stunt LVE’s growth at the position. I doubt that considering the high level of respect and the fantastic relationship these two players have.

However, I would still want to give LVE as many reps as possible to keep his arrow trending upward. If the Dallas Cowboys want to build an elite defense for the future then LVE has to be in their plans now and not when Lee finally yields his starting role.

dark. Next. Should the Dallas Cowboys extend Dak Prescott?

Anyway you look at it having to decide who to start between two of arguably the greatest linebackers in the NFL is a great problem to have for the Dallas Cowboys.

  • Published on 12/05/2018 at 18:00 PM
  • Last updated at 12/05/2018 at 09:16 AM