Cowboys LB Sean Lee excited about the defense
Aside from returning from injury, Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee is anxious to return to a defense he believes can get a turnovers each week.
"I think we can be a defense that can cause takeaways every week and get the ball back to our offense and be very effective," Lee said on KRLD-FM Friday.
In 2014, a year Lee missed entirely due to a left ACL tear four months before Opening Day, the Cowboys defense averaged 1.9 turnovers a game, ranking second-best in the league. However, 14 of those 31 turnovers were caused by players who are no longer with Dallas, including linebacker Bruce Carter who led the team with five interceptions.
Still, Lee sees a talented defense that can excel and also continue to improve.
"You walk out onto this field and you see this defensive line and guys that can get back to the quarterback," said Lee. "And you look at the linebackers and we have a lot of depth and a lot of really good players. In the back row, a ton of talent. We just need to build that continuity and play together and continue to get better and better."
Dallas bolstered their pass rush in the off-season with the controversial signing of ex-Carolina Panther defensive end Greg Hardy and the drafting of Nebraska's Randy Gregory in the second round. The Cowboys retained middle linebacker Rolando McClain with a one-year deal, but also added former Minnesota Viking Jasper Brinkley and selected Damien Wilson out of Minnesota in the draft. Their first-round pick went towards selecting Connecticut's Byron Jones, who has the versatility to play cornerback and safety.
All of these additions, plus the existing talent, make the defense "fun to practice with," according to Lee.
Part of the driving force behind the defense's strive for greatness is defensive coordinator Rod Marinelli.
"[Marinelli] holds you to a standard that is extremely high, but he's also a great guy," Lee said. "He's a funny guy. Meetings are always a blast, but he has a standard that he's never going to back down off of. And I think he enforced that throughout our entire defense."