Linebacker Sean Lee refuses to point to injuries or bad luck for a Cowboys team playing out the string of dreadful season after coming into the season with Super Bowl hopes following last year’s 12-4 campaign.
Lee said the Cowboys are what they are and they earned their dismal 4-9 record, including nine losses in their last 11 games.
He looks at the final three games, starting Saturday against the Jets, as a chance to end the season on a positive note.
“We didn’t expect this at all, but this is what we’ve earned,” Lee said. We have to find a way to play better football and we have to find a way to continue building. We haven’t done that. But at the same point, we have guys in here who have won in the past and we have to get back to that winning formula. That starts with this game and it starts going forward.”
Lee knows the offense has struggled without quarterback Tony Romo. He knows top receiver Dez Bryant has battled injuries all season and that the Cowboys lost top cornerback Orlando Scandrick before the season and played the first four games without linebacker Rolando McClain and defensive end Greg Hardy because of suspensions.
He refuses to use the injuries or the absences as excuses, pointing to the team’s chronic inability to finish.
Last Sunday’s 28-7 loss to the Green Bay Packers was the seventh time the Cowboys have lost a game in which they were within one score in the fourth quarter.
“You can’t use that as an excuse,” Lee said. “You have to find a way to win ballgames. A lot of teams have injuries. We haven’t gotten in done in critical moments. We have to find a way to play better in the fourth quarter. If we can continue to execute better and finish, I think we can give ourselves a better shot to win.”
Lee believes how the Cowboys finish can have a positive carry over into the offseason and next season. It’s one reason why he doesn’t believe in giving up and using the final three games to evaluate for the future.”
“I think it absolutely carries forward,” he said. “The way you play, getting better, building toward something. Obviously, we’ve taken a step back from where we were last year. But, I still believe and we still believe we can be a good football team at some point. The sooner we do that, the better we’ll be.”