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, Calif. (AP) Sean Lee responded with strong words to criticism from former teammate Dez Bryant.
Lee, now Dallas’ only offensive or defensive player in his 30s (he’s 31), always used to wait until the end of the week to address reporters in the locker room during the season. There’s talk of him moving that up to be more visible Justin Bethel Jersey
, and the 2016 All-Pro has left no doubt he knows things are different without Witten.
Center Travis Frederick and Zack Martin, who just signed a contract making him the highest-paid guard in the NFL, come up as well. But Frederick stops short of the idea of leadership by committee.
”Committee makes it sound like it’s a huge group of guys,” said Frederick, who started all 80 games in his first five seasons. ”Traditionally in a team like this, you have a group of captains that are a strong group of leaders, maybe five, six guys. I think you’re going to find that here.
”But there’s been a lot of guys in training. I think that Dak is one of the guys that’s most naturally a leader that I’ve ever been around in my life.”
Bryant shockingly called Lee a “snake” on Twitter while suggesting the ninth-year linebacker had a hand in the club’s decision to move on from its career leader in touchdown receptions.
Equally shocking was Lee’s response, acknowledging that he and Bryant had been at odds over Lee’s feeling that Bryant wasn’t always accountable. Lee even suggested Bryant still wasn’t holding himself accountable. It was the first time Lee had been forced to defend himself on such terms, and he left no doubt how he felt.
”I’ve been in a leadership role for a long time now and I need to take it to that next level,” Lee said. ”But there’s also, we have a core group of guys. We have a lot of guys where it’s easy to be a leader on this football team because of how many great leaders we have, all the way through, from the top to bottom.”
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, a seventh-year player who has been growing into a leadership role over several seasons, wasn’t happy that the team found itself in the middle of an unexpected tiff.
”When it comes to things like that and getting focused, I get angry and I say what I want to say and that’s what it is,” Crawford said. ”I feel like I need to say the right things at the right time and I do and that’s it.”
When Prescott became the starter because of a preseason back injury sustained by Romo two years ago, he spent half that season repeating that it was Romo’s team. Somewhere in the middle of an 11-game winning streak, though, the conversation changed. The qualities to lead were already there.
”It’s just about finding new ways to lead and it’s going to continue to evolve each and every year – every year that I get more experience and I get older,” Prescott said. ”New ways I can come in contact with my teammates, motivate them or do whatever I have to do to get the best out of them.”
Asked specifically about what Witten’s departure meant for Lee’s leadership role, coach Jason Garrett almost cut off the question.
”Witt was the guy who was out in front, the most veteran guy, incredibly well-respected guy,” Garrett said. ”But all these guys have been grasping that mantle for a long time. There’s no one guy that can lead as a player. It just doesn’t happen that way. You have to have it throughout your team.”
The Cowboys had some tangible proof during the first week of training camp.
NOTES: Dallas placed rookie WR Cedrick Wilson, a sixth-round pick Dave Robinson Jersey
, on injured reserve with a shoulder injury and signed rookie Ricky Jeune out of Georgia Tech.
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — The Tennessee Titans have lost their three-time Pro Bowl tight end at least for a big chunk of the season.
Quarterback Marcus Mariota is being evaluated after hurting his throwing arm, and two-time Pro Bowl left tackle Taylor Lewan is in the concussion protocol.
And that’s just the latest injuries for the Titans.
Now Tennessee has to see who’s healthy enough for the home opener Sunday against AFC South rival Houston (0-1) and adapt accordingly.
“What we’re going to do every week is try to figure out what gives us the best chance to win, personnel wise, who we have available, maybe who we’re playing obviously,” rookie coach Mike Vrabel said Monday.
“We’ll be flexible enough to use any personnel that we think will help us win. I don’t think we can commit to anything right now.”
The Titans already are down starting right tackle Jack Conklin, who was inactive against Miami as he recovers from a torn left ACL repaired in January.
On defense, starting linebacker Derrick Morgan played only 14 snaps in the Titans’ 27-20 loss in Miami as the Titans work the veteran back in after a preseason injury.
Tennessee’s top two draft picks also are linebackers, and Rashaan Evans and Harold Landry both missed the opener with injuries.
Add to that the Titans are recovering from the league’s longest game since the NFL/AFL merger in 1970 because of two lightning delays that made the matchup in Miami last 7 hours, 8 minutes from the opening kickoff to the final second ticked off.
Morgan said it wasn’t easy warming up, cooling down again and again, but thinks the Titans learned some mental toughness from the day that wouldn’t end.
“Hopefully it never happens again and we never have to play football for eight hours straight,” Morgan said.
Mariota is being evaluated after he lost sensation in his right hand after the game from his injured right elbow. He was intercepted twice — both after taking a hit from Dolphins defensive lineman William Hayes following a handoff. Vrabel said they’re hopeful of getting a good report back on Mariota’s arm needing everybody that’s healthy and available.
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, signed this offseason, replaced Mariota and threw for 117 yards with an interception. The Titans do have rookie Logan Woodside on the practice squad, but will wait for a report on Mariota before deciding whether to add another quarterback.
Vrabel did say he told defensive coordinator Dean Pees to take note of how officials are handling quarterbacks carrying out a fake on a run-pass option.
“If that’s legal, then we have to do it the same exact way,” Vrabel said.
Lewan was resting Monday. Asked about Dolphins lineman Andre Branch’s hit, Vrabel said it probably wasn’t dirty even if the coach thinks his left tackle “absolutely” was targeted.
The Titans put tight end Delanie Walker on injured reserve Monday and the tight end will have surgery on his right ankle in the next few days. Walker came into the season with the most catches in the NFL by a tight end between 2013 and 2017. He also has been Mariota’s favorite target, leading the team in receptions in two of the past three years.
Vrabel said the Titans will evaluate Walker’s potential to return this season after surgery. Jonnu Smith, a third-round pick out of Florida International in 2017, has 19 receptions and will be the first expected to fill in for Walker. Smith had talked to Walker and said the veteran was in good spirits.
“It is some big shoes to fill,” Smith said. Michael Porter Jersey