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Dallas Cowboys Offseason 2015: Sean Lee Is The Ultimate Addition

Sean Lee is brace-less and back on the practice field a year after tearing his ACL. Though at times he's forgotten, he may be the best addition of the offseason.

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Sometimes the world can find often cruel and unjust ways to punish some it's better inhabitants. However, such is life and for Sean Lee his quality of life has been tested multiple times. Since coming to the league in 2010, Sean Lee has missed a total of 34 games. That was partly the reason that he fell into the Cowboys' lap in the second round. Lee has had a body that has failed him on multiple occasions in the past. However, for the Cowboys and Lee, now is not the time to throw in the towel.

Last year when Lee tore his ACL it became public knowledge that the ligament had been partially torn dating back to his college days at Penn State. It's hard to believe that he played in three seasons with the injury without it not having some lingering effects. In fact, when participating in rigorous contact sports such as football, you run the risk of the body overcompensating for the injured knee and in-turn injuring other portions of the body. This could very well be a factor in Sean Lee's case which has seen numerous nagging injuries over the past few seasons.

Finally, Lee makes his triumphant return to the scene of last year's crime that robbed him of another year in football. Sean Lee never exactly stayed away, he was present for all of the Cowboys' games including the divisional trip to Lambeau Field. Lee's commitment to the organization and to his team has never been a worry. He's been the ultimate team leader ever since he was thrust into the starting role. Lee spoke to the media following an OTA session and seems fired up to be back:

"I think I’m ready to go, full go," Lee said Wednesday following the team’s fifth voluntary OTA of the offseason. "If I’m out there doing a drill or any part of practice, I feel completely comfortable. I feel like I could play again tomorrow if need be.

"I think anytime with an injury, you never want to skip a step in the progression. You always want to progress properly and that’s what they’re doing for me."

Right now Lee understands it's a process and with his history of injury the coaches will take precautionary measures to keep him safe from himself. Lee has been known for not having an off-switch which coincidentally led to his unfortunate injury last year. Another preemptive strike against the injury bug will be moving Lee out to the weakside linebacker position.

The 4-3 scheme has many important cogs that go into it, but the weakside linebacker is certainly among the most integral parts of the simplified scheme Rod Marinelli deploys. Sean Lee has always had impeccable instincts which Marinelli thinks will go a long way for them:

"That position’s built on instincts," Marinelli said. "You’ve got to have movement, speed and all those things. But it’s (about) awareness and I think he’s really got good instincts to play. He’s covered up so there’s always somebody in front of him. Now I think he can really use his speed."

The hope is that by removing him from the middle, he'll take on far less blockers than in the past and can primarily focus on speed and recognition. Two things that Lee excels at. Few could argue how effective Lee can be when he's on the field, now with a stable knee and out of the brace, Lee hopes to finally reach his potential. There is not one person on the team that deserves it more. If Lee can find a way to stay on the field, he'll be the ultimate addition to a defense that surely needs him.

Over his four seasons in the NFL, Lee has been known to rack up tackles an interceptions. He even led the team in interceptions in 2011 and 2013 respectively. Though many lamented the loss of Bruce Carter in free agency, a healthy Sean Lee should be able to quell any of those sentiments rather quickly. The 28-year-old linebacker still has a steady climb ahead, but he's eager to get going.

"Obviously I have to go out there and play at a high level. Obviously I have to go out there and stay healthy," he said. "There’s definitely things that I have to come back and show. I think physically I’ll be able to come out and play and be able to make plays. But that’s one of those things obviously you have go out and show that."

Lee remains focused on shedding the injury-prone label that has haunted him even back to his collegiate days. The Cowboys have protected themselves contractually but it is certainly incentives that they wouldn't mind paying for such a great person on and off the field. If Lee can play 80% of the snaps this season, it will accelerate a $1.5 million addition to his 2015 base salary. If he remains healthy, Lee can earn up to $7.5 million from 2016-2019. He definitely has a lot to play for and I for one won't bet against him.

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