The Dallas Cowboys have missed Sean Lee over the past couple of weeks, but they were able to defeat the New York Giants and Oakland Raiders without the star linebacker on the field. Lee suffered a hamstring injury in Week 10 against the New Orleans Saints, and the Cowboys defense immediately looked worse for wear. Now that he’s been able to rest that hamstring after wisely- and rather obviously- being held out of the Thanksgiving game, the Cowboys defense is going to be that much better with Lee back in the fold.
According to ESPN Dallas’s Calvin Watkins, Jerry Jones stated that Lee will return this week to face the Chicago Bears on Monday Night Football, and that news doesn’t come as a surprise at all. He will have had a month between the Bears game and the injury against the Saints to rest, and it will be interesting to see how good he looks upon his return. Lee should be able to resume his All-Pro caliber play, and he was the brightest spot on the Cowboys defense through the first nine games. He’s blossomed into a true star at the linebacker position by improving in the passing game, and he remains a top-notch run defender.
Fellow starting linebacker Justin Durant also went down with an injury in the game against the Saints, but he isn’t nearly as good as Lee and has been Wally Pipp’d by Kyle Wilber due to Wilber’s play over the last couple of games. Durant can’t cover, but he’s a very good run defender and is a much more established player than Wilber. Although Wilber should be rewarded for his recent play and could conceivably be better than Durant, I still think Durant is a player worth keeping in mind going forward. Hopefully Wilber can keep it up, and it will be interesting to see how the Cowboys defense performs in a key game against Matt Forte and the Bears on Monday night.