Following the worst defensive season in the 54-year history of the Dallas Cowboys, defensive captain and linebacker Sean Lee knows the team is entering 2014 with everything to prove.
On the bright side, Lee believes the team has the right man for the job of turning the unit around in Rod Marinelli, who was promoted from defensive line coach to defensive coordinator this offseason.
“On many fronts defensively, we have a ton to prove,” Lee said, per the Dallas Morning News. “I think Coach Marinelli is a guy who can teach us and show us to the way to being a better defense. He is a guy who is a great motivator who knows defense inside and out – not only scheme but fundamentals at every position. So if there’s a guy that is going to get us to become the defense we want to be, I think it’s Coach Marinelli.
“But it’s on us individually to get better day in and day out and understand how hard we need to work if we want to be the type of defense that’s going to help our team win football games.”
If the Cowboys are going to make that turnaround, they’ll have to do it without mainstays DeMarcus Ware, who went to Denver after being cut by Dallas, and Jason Hatcher, who took the money and ran across the division to the Washington Redskins.
“I think everybody needs to improve if we want to be a better defense,” Lee said. “I look at myself. I have a lot of room to improve within this defense. I have to start now. I have already started back in January. I have to find a way to be a better football player and a better leader. I think everybody has to look at themselves and say, ‘Where can I be better? Where did I not make plays last year? Where can I, when it comes down to fundamentals, when it comes to knowing the defense, get better?’ Everybody has to evaluate themselves hard and find a way to get better. And that starts with a guy like me.”
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