Dallas Cowboys LB ‘Sean Lee’ retires from NFL after 11 seasons
After 11 seasons with the Dallas Cowboys, linebacker Sean Lee has decided to retire.
A second-round pick in 2010 of Penn State, Lee was a double cross Pro Bowl selection (2015, 2016) and the unchallenged leader of the defense for a large portion of his career.
“It’s been a complete honor,” Lee told ESPN. “I’ve been blessed to play for the incredible Jones family, with such great coaches and teammates that I love like brothers. I loved every minute playing and tried to pour my heart and soul into winning and helping my teammates at all costs.
“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. There are always regrets, but I’m proud of what I was able to accomplish and I leave this game grateful.”
Injuries marked Lee’s experience with the Cowboys, however when healthy he was one of the best linebacker in the NFL. The 34-year-old led the Cowboys in handles in 2011 and 2015-17, and he possesses five of the main seven tackle games in team history, including a record 22 vs. the Giants in 2016. He likewise had 14 vocation interferences, returning two of them for scores; 5 bobble recuperations; 2 forced fumbles; 59 tackles for loss; and 4 sacks.
He was credited with 995 handles for his career, useful for eighth in team history. He found the middle value of 8.4 handles per game, the most among the main 10 tacklers in group history. Darren Woodson, who is the establishment chief with 1,350, arrived at the midpoint of 7.6 tackles per game.
Lee missed time with hamstring, wrist, toe, neck, knee and core-muscle injuries just as concussions. He missed the 2014 season due to a torn front cruciate tendon. He played in only nine games last season in the wake of going through sports hernia medical procedure in September however was feeling better toward the year’s end and thought about a return for a twelfth season.
His effect off the field was similarly however extraordinary as it might have been on the field.
“As an individual he’s one of the most selfless people that I’ve ever been around,” linebacker Leighton Vander Esch said after the season. “The dude just truly loves the game, and he is going to do what’s best for the game. He’s extremely intelligent, he understands it like nobody I’ve been around. He’s just a phenomenal individual — his character bleeds off and is contagious.
“He’s like an older brother to me, and I know he wants to see everyone around him succeed and that’s just what’s special about him. If other people are succeeding, [if] the team is succeeding? He’s just as happy as if he was out there doing it. I think it’s special to have a guy like him around. They don’t come around very often.”
Lee’s decision continues with an offseason shift for the Cowboys in life span and administration as guarded lineman Tyrone Crawford, a nine-year veteran, additionally chose to resign and the group proceeded onward from 16-year long-snapper L.P. Ladouceur.
With Lee and Crawford not returning, DeMarcus Lawrence, a second-round pick in 2014, is the longest-tenured defensive player on the Cowboys. Randy Gregory, a second-rounder the following year, is the second.