If only every player was like Dallas Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee. Entering his third NFL season, the Penn State product is already making a case for the title of best player on the Cowboys’ roster. In addition, he’s setting a new standard for players in off-the-field behavior. When asked how he approaches the media, Lee gave an answer that trumps classy.
“Obviously, I try to first and foremost think of my teammates when I’m talking to the media,” Lee said. “I want to represent the team in the right way. I want to represent my teammates in the right way.”
Not enough for you? Lee went further got slightly philosophical:
“We’re in the entertainment business and controversy is entertainment,” Lee said. “Well I don’t want it. Controversy hurts our team. I want to avoid stuff like that; I always want to be positive because I believe in our team and I believe in my teammates and I want to represent us the right way.”
The nail has never been hit so squarely on the head. People say football teams – and all sports teams for that matter – need controversy to overcome in order to be successful. Really? Think about the dynasties in sports in the past decade. Did the NBA‘s San Antonio Spurs ever create a bunch of controversy while winning four titles from 1999 to 2007? What about the New England Patriots? Any controversy there during a three-ring run in four years? Nada.
The Cowboys have faced controversy this off-season; quite a bit very recently, in fact. Receiver Dez Bryant was arrested for allegedly assaulting his mother; team owner Jerry Jones embarrassed and doomed his franchise within 48 hours; and head coach Jason Garrett made a ridiculous comment that garnered even more scoff at America’s Team. (See the Cowboys page for these stories). That’s not the best way to strengthen a mentally weak team.
Lee went on to say he enjoys representing his team when talking to the media. When asked about Bryant, he was honest and supportive, just like a team captain should be.
“This off-season, he’s been an unbelievable teammate and he’s worked extremely hard and you can see it on the football field,” Lee said. “With the type of talent he has, he’s really taken that step forward. So he’s a guy that we know is going to be ready to play football. He’s taken a step forward not only on the field, but off the field.”
Bryant, Jones, Garrett and every other member of the Cowboys’ organization should take a page out of Lee’s playbook. Maybe then Dallas wouldn’t be such a disappointment year after year.