Sean Lee will be 35-years-old when the 2021 NFL season begins. With a long history of serious injuries, hanging up the cleats would be an easy decision for many players. But not for Lee. After all, the Dallas Cowboys’ linebacker told the press after the season about his addiction to football.
“That is my problem,” he said back in December, “I love this game too much. I love this organization a lot. And I love playing.”
Lee’s love for the game goes unquestioned. He’s suffered serious injuries time and time again, yet he keeps coming back for more. Last year, he even underwent surgery to reattach his abs to his pelvic bone. But like many injuries before, it didn’t keep him from showing up when the Cowboys called his name.
To make the decision even harder, the Dallas Cowboys are in need of depth at linebacker and could be interested in keeping Lee around. Behind Leighton Vander Esch and Jaylon Smith, the linebacker room consists of inexperienced players. And after losing Joe Thomas to the Houston Texans in free agency, the Cowboys might be forced to bring Sean Lee back for one more year.
As for Lee himself, he’s reportedly still deciding whether or not he wants to continue playing.
Hearing Sean Lee still working through continuing playing or retiring. LP Ladouceur, 16-year vet entering free agency, plans on returning in 2021 and Maurice Canady (remember him? he opted out last year) is staying in shape. No word if he plans on playing in 2021.
— Calvin Watkins (@calvinwatkins) February 23, 2021
The Dallas Cowboys should know it wouldn’t be expensive to keep Lee on the team. Before the 2019 season, both sides actually agreed to a $3.5M pay cut. Stephen Jones later revealed the Cowboys didn’t even ask him to do it, but that the veteran linebacker had volunteered to make it work.
A year after Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch had a dominant season, Lee wanted to make sure he could stick around while helping the team out. If that doesn’t tell you how much “The General” loves football, I’m not sure anything will.
By bringing him back, the Dallas Cowboys would be getting a veteran, experienced linebacker who still has great instincts on defense. Plus, one of the team’s most respected leaders in the locker room. With experience and a high football IQ, Lee can still prove to be very valuable.
But even with Sean Lee back on the roster, linebacker would remain a concern for the Cowboys.
Vander Esch and Smith are set to continue as the team’s starters in 2021. However, unless the Cowboys exercise Vander Esch’s fifth-year option, it’ll be a contract year for the Boise State product.
Meanwhile, Jaylon Smith needs to bounce back after a poor 2020 campaign that made many fans question whether or not he was worth the huge five-year extension he signed with the Cowboys in 2019.
The Dallas Cowboys will likely address the position in the NFL Draft. In the meantime, adding depth to such an important position is key. If he’s interested in returning, it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Cowboys do so via Sean Lee.
Featured Image Via Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports