Sean Lee's Absence Will Be Difficult Hurdle for Dallas Cowboys to Overcome

Danny Webster@@DannyWebster21Analyst IIIOctober 24, 2012

ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 01:  Sean Lee #50 of the Dallas Cowboys at Cowboys Stadium on October 1, 2012 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

You can now add injury to insult in the terms of the Dallas Cowboys' season thus far.

And it perhaps may be the biggest injury they could've possibly dealt with.

First reports said that he would miss four to six weeks, then late last night, maybe it would've only been two games. But the unfortunate truth has indeed come out: Sean Lee will miss the rest of this season with that toe injury, and it will require surgery.

Sitting at 3-3 with the New York Giants coming to town on Sunday, the last thing the Cowboys needed was any bad news.

They probably didn't think that that it would come in the form of losing their best football player.

Now, before everyone goes crazy off that last statement, let's be clear: This Cowboys team is loaded with talent. They have the best pass-rusher in the league in DeMarcus Ware, talented corners and a talented, yet underachieving offense with playmakers all around.

But in terms of the guy who is the heart and soul of the team, there's no question that Lee's motor will be missed. How can Dallas replace someone who brings a Ray Lewis-like personality to the table every week?

Obviously, the Cowboys defense is much, much better than Baltimore's, especially considering they're more banged up on that side of the ball than Dallas is.

But just ask the Ravens: When you lose the heart and soul of your defense, that has to have some sort of psychological aspect on the players looking for a leader in the locker room and on the field. The sad part about that is that no player on this defense has stepped into that role this season. 

As great as Ware is, he's never really been that vocal leader that everyone can rely on. And as physical and talented as Brandon Carr is, he's not going to take on that role, nor is Morris Claiborne, Jay Ratliff, Bruce Carter or Anthony Spencer.

The inconsistency between all of them makes it difficult to fully rely on one.

But in terms of the middle linebacker spot, where do the Cowboys go from here?

Dallas wasted no time in getting Lee's possible replacement in former first-round pick Ernie Sims.

More than likely, the Cowboys won't be getting the Sims who racked up over 100 tackles in his first three seasons in Detroit. Injuries over the last number of years have slowed down the once-prolific linebacker.

This will be a good chance to see more of free-agent pickup Dan Connor at linebacker. The problem with Connor is that he's not a three-down linebacker, and if he gets in passing situations, quarterbacks will look to attack the defense over the middle.

With Lee, the Cowboys will miss that guy who was always around the ball and would go all three downs to make sure the offense got the ball back. Without seeing No. 50 on the field, Dallas won't just be missing their best middle linebacker, they'll be missing the heart and soul of their defense.

Not the best way you want to go into the Giants game this week.