THE NEXT MAN UP: Jason Garrett’s 2013-2014 Dallas Cowboys find a way to win, even without centerpiece Sean Lee on the field

Dallas Cowboys helmet - The Next Man Up - The Boys Are Back

The Dallas Cowboys are 2-0 without Sean Lee in the middle of the defense, but it’s not like his influence has not been felt.

DeMarcus Ware said Lee remains a big presence everywhere except the field, continuing to work with his replacement, Ernie Sims, like a coach.

“When you have guys like Lee still in there, in the meeting rooms, still teaching Ernie what to do – everybody in this league is athletic – but if you can instill what you do mentally first, especially like Sean Lee, he’s showing them so many things and what to key on, and they’ve gotten better,” Ware said after the Thanksgiving Day victory against Oakland. “He’s still there, but just in another person’s body, of Ernie’s or whatever.”

Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said Lee has been missed, but there have been benefits.

“It caused us to do some moving around a little bit,” he said. “It’s probably caused us to see Wilber, who was steady against the Giants and again tonight. That may be a blessing for us.”

Lee said the defense has played “fantastic” without him.

“I think it shows you have a lot of guys who have worked hard, who have stepped up – guys like Kyle Wilber and Ernie Sims, who put in a ton of work,” he said. “And you have to give them a ton of credit, because they’ve been a huge reason why we’ve been able to win these two football games.”

Sean Lee said he is on track to play in the next game, Dec. 9 at Chicago.

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