Two Minute Drill: Connor Says There's No Replacing Lee
IRVING, Texas – One Penn State linebacker will fill in for another this weekend. But it's not the way Dan Connor wanted it.
Connor, a former teammate of linebacker Sean Lee, who will be out for the season following surgery on his toe, never wanted an injury to his friend to open the door to a possible starting spot.
"You don't want to do it like that," Connor said. "Not at all. It's terrible. It's not a good feeling for me, either. I talked to him on the phone last night. He's putting on a brave face. But to be in that type of situation, it's not a good feeling. To step in and play for him, it's bittersweet."
Connor had to step in for Lee when the linebacker left Sunday's game against Carolina. Connor talked Wednesday about how the Cowboys will attempt to make up for the loss of their defensive captain.
How can you rally around an injury like that?
Connor: "Everyone's got to pick up the slack. You know, it's going to be hard to replace a guy like that. He's unreplaceable. But a lot of guys are going to have to step in different positions and try to pick up the slack for him."
What's Lee's demeanor like right now?
Connor: "He's been great with it. He's a mature guy. He's a leader. He knows to fight on and come back from this, bounce back, and be better than he was before. Nobody works like Sean. But this is tough. This is a tough thing for him, and I think he'll persevere. Knowing his personality, he'll be good. He'll come back next year and be unbelievable."
Are you fighting anything from the Panthers game?
Connor:"No, just a sore shoulder. It gets riled up once in a while, but nothing terrible."
How do you handle that loss as a defense?
Connor: "It's hard. We brought in a guy, Ernie Sims, who's been playing for a while. He'll help us. He's a guy that can cover the pass, and he'll have a role."
Will it have to be a committee approach to make up for his loss?
Connor: "It might have to be. It's hard to say one guy's going to go in there and do what Sean Lee does. I think he's the top player in the game right now at that position. I think we'll get a couple different guys who can do certain things and do it that way.
Will Lee continue to stick around the team?
Connor: "He's not a selfish guy. He's not going to be a guy that's going to disappear, go on IR and disappear. He'll be on you as hard, if not harder."