FRISCO, Texas – When Sean Lee reflects back to his time with the Cowboys, of course he'll think about the games, the players and coaches and the time they shared together.
It also seems rather likely that he'll be thinking about phone conversations with Jerry Jones – and not just the first one when he called him back in 2010 to inform him the young linebacker that he's going to be a Dallas Cowboy, but many others along the way when he needed them the most.
Lee was at The Star on Wednesday to meet with the media during what was supposed to be just the annual pre-draft press conference. But after Lee announced the news Monday, he was brought up to the podium, alongside Jerry Jones, Stephen Jones and Mike McCarthy.
It was there that Lee recalled a couple of different phone calls he received over the years from Jerry Jones, especially after the numerous times he suffered an injury setback, something that plagued the linebacker throughout his career.
Lee missed a total of 58 games in his career, including five different seasons where he missed five or more games, including this past season.
"I took pride in being able to handle any injuries," said Lee, who joked that he actually had 11 years of injuries, but focused more on three specific year where he had toe, neck and knee injuries. "I was in the dumps and wanted to quit on myself in some ways and then I'd get a call from teammates and then I would get a call from Mr. Jones and he picked me up off the floor."
Lee wondered just how many NFL owners would take the time to be that positive year after year.
"I'm saying three times in a row would call me being so positive," Lee said. What type of owner calls you when you need it the most? That motivated me so much. It made me say 'I can come back from anything and play through anything' I wanted to pay back that support. He would give me a pep talk. I'm coming back better than I ever was. I can't tell you how much that helped.
Talking to Jones on the phone was Lee's first association with team back in the second round of the 2010 draft.
"I got a call from an anonymous number. It was Jerry Jones. That call changed my life," Lee said as he looked towards the Cowboys owner. "You took a chance on me. You never quit on me."
And from the sound of things, although both sides were rather vague, it seems like Lee and the Cowboys could work together down the road, perhaps with a coaching spot in mind.
But until that happens again, which will likely be the result of yet another phone call, Lee can reflect on his journey as a player, one that was certainly aided by a several calls from the boss.