Big deal is no big deal for Cowboys LB Lee

Posted Thursday, Aug. 22, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Typical of linebacker Sean Lee, the Dallas Cowboys’ newest millionaire after signing a six-year, $42 million contract extension Wednesday, there will no purchases for himself, maybe a car for his parents.

It was all about the big picture.

“I told my brother that the college will be paid for for all the kids and grandkids,” Lee said with a smile.

But while the contract might be a milestone for Lee’s family, it will only serve as an added source of motivation for the Cowboys’ middle linebacker to be the best player he can be and to bring a sixth Super Bowl title to Dallas.

“I’m blessed that the Jones family gave me this opportunity,” Lee said. “But it motivates me. I always said I have a lot of room to improve, not only staying healthy but as a football player. This motivates me even more to help the team win a Super Bowl.”

Lee was happy to get the contract done before the season so he can keep his mind focused on football and staying healthy for 16 games. He missed 10 games last season because of a toe injury.

“It is definitely nice to have that off your plate and know you are going to be here for a long time and know you are going to do everything possible to help your team win now and into the future,” Lee said. “I love being here. When I was drafted here, I knew it was an unbelievable opportunity.”

Despite the fact that Lee, now under contract through 2019, has played only 35 games in three seasons, he has become a team leader.

“I just think it’s fantastic,” coach Jason Garrett said before Thursday’s practice. “Sean Lee represents, embodies, personifies everything we think is good in football.

“Just come to practice, watch him play in games,” Garrett said. “Everybody recognizes how good of a football player he is. [Injures have] been an issue in his career. Last year, he missed significant portions of the season, and I thought we did a good job as a football team overcoming his absence. It’s hard to do that when you’ve got a player as good as he is when you take him out of the lineup.

“He’s the heart and soul of this defense, a guy that everybody responds to because he plays the right way, prepares the right way, is committed the right way, great passion for the game, and he shows it every single day.”

Pellerin fined

Defensive back Micah Pellerin said he was fined $15,750 by the NFL for a hit against Arizona Cardinals punt returner Charles Hawkins that drew an unnecessary roughness penalty last week, but he declined to talk about whether he would appeal it.

“No comment,” he said.

But earlier in the week, he said it was a bang-bang play.

“He’s a shorter guy. He ducked. I’m taller, so you know. I didn’t mean to,” Pellerin said.

Dunbar watch

Running back Lance Dunbar caught the Cowboys’ attention and earned a role in the offense because of his quickness on the field. Now he is banking on a speedy recovery from a sprained foot to be ready for the Sept. 8 season opener against the New York Giants.

Running back DeMarco Murray missed six games last season with a similar injury.

Dunbar, however, said his sprained foot is not as serious as Murray’s. He said he will be out of a walking boot in three days and believes there is a good chance he plays against the Giants.

“I’m actually ready to get out of the boot now,” Dunbar said. “They want me to keep it on a little while longer. But I’m already walking on it. It feels a lot better.”

Dunbar was hurt last week against the Cardinals, cutting short an impressive training camp.

Clarence E. Hill Jr. 817-390-7760 Twitter: @clarencehilljr

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