Sean Lee is one of the most important players on the entire Dallas Cowboys defense. When he is healthy, Lee is not only the team’s best tackler but also their unquestioned team leader. When Lee is on the field, everything on the defense runs better. However, the important wording there is that it is when he is healthy and when he is on the field. That makes the offseason programs so important and difficult at the same time for Lee. While he told ESPN that he wants to be out there practicing with everyone and going full-speed with the rest of the team, his coaches and the conditioning staff tell him to take it slow.

Luckily, he listens to them.

Sean Lee and his importance to the Cowboys

The Dallas Cowboys need Sean Lee out there on the field. They lost Anthony Hitchens to free agency this season and will count on Lee to anchor the linebacker corps with Jaylon Smith and rookie Leighton Vander Esch. If Lee goes down with another injury, that could cripple the middle of this defensive unit. As Lee said to reporters at the OTAs, he has had some problems staying on the field for an entire season.

In 2015 and 2016, he played in 14 and 15 games respectively. In those two NFL seasons, he finished with 128 and 145 total tackles. However, he only played in six games in 2012, 11 games in 2013 and then fell to injuries again in 2017, where he missed five games.

The good news is that Sean Lee finished with 101 tackles in those 11 games, showing the Dallas Cowboys how good he is and how scary he could be if he played an entire16-game season – something he has yet to accomplish in his NFL career.

Cowboys plans for Lee

Sean Lee said the conditioning and athletic training staff are doing the same thing they do every offseason with him.

He said the Dallas Cowboys will put a governor on him and work smart with him. He said that he fights for more work, but the team brings him along slowly until training camp officially starts in July, where they finally cut him loose to go full-speed. According to Lee, he wants to be out there with his teammates getting ready, but he said the Cowboys have a great game plan for him this offseason.

The injury problems in 2017 were hamstring strains, so it was nothing long-term that would hamper him coming into this offseason. At the age of 31, Sean Lee knows that he has to work smarter to last the entire season. He also said the Dallas Cowboys have helped him set up stretching, massage and active release therapy to ensure his hamstrings are strengthened and flexible to avoid those problems this year. Lee said the key is making sure he comes to training camp in peak shape.