Sean Lee Retires After Great Career But Short of Hall of Fame
If Sean Lee was healthy, he probably would still be playing in the NFL. However, the Dallas Cowboys linebacker battled a variety of injuries for much of career, and the 34-uear old decided to call it quits after 11 seasons.
"To say the injuries were frustrating would be an understatement, but the support I received through them all was humbling and the lessons I learned battling adversity will last a lifetime," Lee told ESPN. "There are always regrets, but I'm proud of what I was able to accomplish and I leave this game grateful."
Lee led the Cowboys in tackles in 2011 and again from 2015-17, while making two trips to the Pro Bowl. His 995 career tackles ranks eighth in team history. He also had 14 career interceptions, five fumble recoveries, a pair of forced fumbles, 59 tackles for a loss, and four sacks. Two of his interceptions resulted in touchdowns.
Over the years, Lee battled concussions, along with hamstring, wrist, toe, neck, knee, and core-muscle injuries. He also tore his ACL in 2014 and missed the entire season while recovering from the knee injury. Last season, he missed seven games due to sports hernia surgery.
Sean Lee should be remembered as one of the most dominant linebackers in Cowboys history when healthy. Unfortunately, he was not able to stay healthy long enough to earn a trip to Canton and the Pro Football Hall of Fame. However, it would not surprise me if Sean Lee eventually gets added to the Cowboys Ring of Honor. He was a leader on and off the field, and one of the most likable players in the league. He also played his entire career for the Dallas Cowboys.
With the NFL Draft right around the corner, you wonder if Lee's retirement will change the Cowboys first round plans. They have been long rumored to be after a cornerback, but now they might rethink that strategy and target a linebacker at #10. Penn State linebacker Micah Parsons could be their man, and Dallas might even be able trade down and get him.