This is probably a bigger deal for Lee than it is the Cowboys, as the emergence of Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch essentially made the long-time linebacker obsolete. The additional salary-cap savings will aid in the Cowboys desire to retain a handful of core players set to hit the open market, as the injury-prone linebacker will likely not play enough to hit the necessary incentives.
Lee indicated at the beginning of the offseason that he was "leaning towards playing again" after enduring multiple hamstring setbacks in 2018. Rookie Leighton Vander Esch stepped up as the team's top linebacker in his absence and permanently took over the starting role on the heels of his strong play. The longtime Cowboy is set to carry a cap hit just north of $10 million in 2019, so the team could look to restructure the deal to keep him on the roster at lower price.
Lee said that he's "leaning towards playing again" when asked about his future in football Wednesday, David Moore of The Dallas Morning News reports.
Lee battled through multiple hamstring complications in 2018, limiting him to just nine games, including the postseason. While Lee was in and out of the lineup, rookie Leighton Vander Esch emerged as the team's top linebacker and moved ahead of the veteran on the depth chart. Coming off a season in which Lee averaged only 4.3 tackles per game, his litany of health issues finally seem to be catching up with him. Lee is due a base salary of $7 million in 2019, but it's unclear if the Cowboys will be eager to keep an injury-prone backup in the fold at that price.
Lee (hamstring) was a full participant in Tuesday's practice, Jon Machota of The Dallas Morning News reports.
Lee seems to have completely shed his hamstring injury and should be full-go against the Rams on Saturday. It still remains to be seen how much he'll be utilized, though, as the linebacker played just four defensive snaps versus the Seahawks in the wild-card round.
Lee (hamstring) is active for Saturday's wild-card game against the Seahawks, Todd Archer of ESPN.com reports.
This was to be expected as Lee was able to practice fully Thursday and was not given an injury designation. The veteran linebacker saw a limited snap count during his two December appearances, but expects that snap number to increase Saturday, Brandon George of The Dallas Morning News reports.
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