The Dallas Cowboys lost their top defensive player on the first day OTA’s Tuesday. Sean Lee got tangled up with No. 1 draft choice Zack Martin, tearing his left ACL and likely sidelining him for the rest of the season. So not only did Jerry Jones not get a defensive player with his No. 1 draft choice in 2014, but Martin, the actual top pick, inadvertently took out the Cowboys best player on the defensive side of the ball.
Though the injury will likely cost Lee the entire the 2014 season, the Cowboys don’t have to make a decision any time soon, meaning he will probably begin camp in July being placed on the PUP list. From that point, the Cowboys would have a couple months before the season starts to make a decision regarding Lee’s status for the season.
The Cowboys’ linebacker has missed 18 games in his four-year career, including five of the final six games last season. A neck injury that sidelined him for three of those games. Even in college, Lee was thought to be injury-prone as he suffered multiple injuries, including a tear to the same left ACL during his time at Penn State. He recently received clearance by the Cowboys’ medical staff to participate completely in OTA practices.
This latest injury occurred towards the end of practice, as Lee collided with Martin in the middle of the field on a screen play. “I really don’t know what happened there,” Martin said. “It was just a football play and we were both going full speed. I really don’t know.”
If there is a bright side to the story of the Cowboys losing their top defender, at least there is time for the Cowboys to find a replacement for Lee, taking comfort in knowing that this is not the first time they have had to do so. Now that Lee is likely done for the year, Dallas will turn to DeVonte Holloman or Justin Durant.
There was some good news for the Cowboys Tuesday as Tony Romo made his first public appearance throwing the ball and seemed to do so without much effort. He also did so without a change to his throwing motion, a concern at one point for the Cowboys.
Romo had back surgery last December and had to miss the final game of the season. There had been much talk this off-season of the Cowboys drafting Johnny Manziel and replacing the 34-year old veteran. However, the Cowboys instead drafted Martin, perhaps in an effort to make sure Romo is protected. It appears to be a good move because Romo is planning on being around for awhile. He told assembled media he felt good and planned on being around for “quite a bit longer.”
So even in the first day of OTA’s, the Dallas Cowboys are making news as they lost their top defender and their franchise quarterback returned. The fact that their No. 1 draft pick inadvertently caused Lee’s injury, but is being counted on to protect the franchise quarterback, is the type of irony befitting of Jerry Jones and his team.
Commentary by Mick Varner
Guardian Liberty Voice Sports Writer covering the Dallas Cowboys