GRAPEVINE, Texas – Confirmed details about Sean Lee's injury have been hard to come by from Cowboys officials, but executive vice president Stephen Jones spoke clearly Tuesday afternoon.
"He has a torn ACL," Jones said from the Cowboys' annual sponsors' golf tournament.
That isn't exactly news, since word of the injury has been out since last week, and Lee himself has even talked to reporters about the prognosis. To hear it from the Cowboys, though, the course of action for Lee isn't as clear-cut as it seems.
"We're working through it. Obviously, we're not playing football games tomorrow and we're not going to training camp tomorrow," Jones said. "We're just taking a long, hard look at everything. When we've made up our mind, y'all will be the first to know."
This goes along similar lines to what Cowboys coach Jason Garrett has been saying since Lee went down during the first practice of Organized Team Activities.
"I don't want to get into the specifics," Garrett said Monday. "He had a serious knee injury, he is in the process of rehabbing right now and we are coming up with a plan for him going forward."
The widely-accepted recovery time for an ACL injury is at least eight, if not 12 months, which makes it interesting that the team is playing its cards close to the vest. Placing Lee on Injured Reserve would make him unavailable for the rest of the season, but some have speculated the Cowboys could place him on the Physically Unable to Perform List and potentially try to bring him back for the last two to three weeks of the season.
Jones declined to fuel that speculation, but he did add that the team was still in the process of making a decision on Lee's status.
"I'm not going to get into the possibilities," he said. "Like I said, when we make our final decision on everything – what the makeup is going to be of our roster for training camp, who we're going to have, who we're not going to have, who goes on IR, those type of things – we'll let everybody know."
Aside from Lee's status, those possibilities include potentially bringing in a veteran free agent to bolster the linebacker group. Garrett and others have repeated the Cowboys would prefer to see what they have within their roster before looking outside the team. Asked specifically about former Bears great Brian Urlacher, among other names, Jones was non-committal.
"I didn't say anybody is looking," he said. "I'm not going to do hypotheticals, but where we are right now is we're obviously looking at Sean's situation, what that means to us and how we want to move forward. That's all I'll say about that."
One thing Jones did allow, however: the next few weeks could determine a lot about the Cowboys feel about their linebackers. There are two more OTA sessions this week and another three next week. Following that is the team's mandatory, three-day minicamp. By the end of those eight days, Jones said they'd like to have a better idea of where they stand in replacing Lee.
"I think that's fair. I think we'll know a lot more – it may be somewhat of a timeline for us to be looking at something like that," he said. "We'll try to see how the guys do here and where we want to go. We'll make decisions then."