The Dallas Cowboys play the Los Angeles Chargers on Thanksgiving, but they’ll have to do it without star linebacker Sean Lee. He’s still out with his hamstring issues.
“Jerry Jones on 105.3 The Fan [said] Sean Lee won’t play Thursday, but Tyron Smith, Dan Bailey and Anthony Hitchens all have a chance to play vs. the Chargers,” wrote Jon Machota of the Dallas Morning News.
That would be huge, especially with the return of Smith, the Cowboys’ talented left tackle. His absence has been very obvious, especially with running back Ezekiel Elliott also out. The Chargers are not a strong team on paper, but they have star pass rushers like Joey Bosa, so protecting quarterback Dak Prescott will be critical.
The Cowboys were shredded by the Philadelphia Eagles without Smith or Lee in their last game, and some complained that the coaching staff didn’t make any adjustments. Jones supported his staff.
“Jerry Jones said there were second-half adjustments made by the coaching staff against the Eagles,” Machota reported. “Mentioned that they changed some blocking schemes.”
He also refused to throw the coaches under the bus with his injured, undermanned team.
“This is really an outstanding coaching staff,” Jones said. “I’m really proud to have them.”
The loss of talent on the field is starting to take a toll, though, and there’s only so much the coaches can do. Elliott is perhaps the NFL’s best running back, and the same argument could be made for Smith at the tackle spot. Lee isn’t the best linebacker in the NFL, but he’s a leader and the Cowboys’ top defender.
“Everyone knows he’s our best player; he’s our guy,” linebacker Anthony Hitchens said after Lee got hurt, per Drew Davison of the Star Telegram. “Obviously, it’s going to be a challenge if he can’t play. We have to step up and use the guys we got in the room.”