Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones recognizes the delicate nature of linebacker Sean Lee’s hamstring injury and understands why there are those within the organization who thinks he could miss the next two to three games.
However, Jones also knows the urgency of the Cowboys situation, with a 5-4 record coming off a blowout loss to the Atlanta Falcons and in danger of falling out of playoff contention with suspended running back Ezekiel Elliott, the best player on offense, out another five games.
He can’t fathom an extended absence of the team’s best defensive player.
“You know what they say, he’d play if it was the Super Bowl,” Jones asked rhetorically Monday at a grand opening ceremony for Dee Lincoln’s Prime. “Well the Super Bowl is right now. The Super Bowl is right now.”
Never miss a local story.
Jones refused to elaborate on whether that meant he is expected Lee to play against the Philadelphia Eagles (8-1) on Sunday.
Lee is not expected to practice this week and could miss two or three games, considering the Thanksgiving Day match-up against the Los Angeles Chargers is four days later on a short week, followed by a Nov. 30 match-up against the Washington Redskins.
But Jones’ Super Bowl talk is an acknowledgment of the urgency of the playoff chase for a Cowboys team that trends in the wrong direction when Lee is off the field.
The Seattle Seahawks (6-3), Detroit Lions (5-4), Green Bay Packers (5-4) and Atlanta Falcons (5-4) are currently battling for one wild-card spot. The Cowboys have already lost head-to-head games against the Packers and Falcons.
The Cowboys lost two games in October when Lee was out with a hamstring injury and the defense fell apart.