As Week 17 approaches, it looks like the Cowboys are going to miss the playoffs, barring a Giants upset of the Eagles. If they’re eliminated, longtime head coach Jason Garrett is expected to get the boot shortly after. That might not be the only major change Dallas sees this offseason, as there is a lot of uncertainty surrounding some key players.
One of those is veteran linebacker Sean Lee, who was rumored to be considering retirement last year. He ultimately decided to come back, and will play in 16 games in 2019 for the first time in his career. The Penn State product is undecided about whether he wants to play in 2020, and elaborated on his process in some recent comments to the media. “If I do want to play again, you want to be a part of the entire offseason, which really kind of starts mid-March for me,” Lee said, via Michael Gehlken of the Dallas Morning News. “And so that’s probably when I would make a decision.”
Lee’s contract is set to expire at the end of the year, and it sounds like he wants to inform the team of his decision before free agency starts, so don’t expect a prolonged process. “I’m happy that I was able to be consistently on the field and in a lot of situations, being able to help and being effective. That was a plus for me, and that will be part of the evaluation, obviously,” he said.
That last statement would seem to indicate he feels like he’s got something left in the tank. Lee has been plagued by injuries in recent years though, only playing in seven games last year and 11 the season before. He started the year off as a part-time player but has been counted on for a much larger role recently with younger linebacker Leighton Vander Esch on the shelf.
Lee is a franchise icon, and it’ll be interesting to see what path he takes. The Cowboys will almost certainly be entering a new era next season, and Lee could decide to return for one more run at a Super Bowl or to hang them up as the team starts over. Lee has functioned as somewhat of a coach when banged up the past couple years, and it’s entirely possible he’ll transition to coaching when he does decide to retire.
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