GameDay Blog: Lee Hopes For "Quick" Recovery

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Follow along with the very latest Cowboys updates as staff writers David Helman, Rob Phillips, Nick Eatman and Bryan Broaddus provide in-depth news and analysis.

Sean Lee Hopes For "Quick" Recovery

(Sept. 23; 11 p.m.) – Linebacker Sean Lee says he'll be re-evaluated this week after more hamstring issues sidelined him in the second half of the Cowboys' 24-13 loss to the Seahawks.

"Hopefully it'll be a quick turnaround," he said.

Lee was listed as "questionable" Friday due to hamstring tightness that limited his play count in the Cowboys' Week 2 win over the Giants.

The defensive captain said he felt good during the week and on Sunday. But the same hamstring began to bother him as the game went on. He spent most of the second half on the sideline wearing a ball cap.

Lee still finished tied for a game-high in tackles (11) and recorded a half-sack on Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson.

 -Rob Phillips

Vander Esch Delivers Early Career-Best

(Sept. 23; 10:30 p.m.) – So far in his rookie season, Leighton Vander Esch has gotten backup linebacker snaps in a planned rotation with Sean Lee and Jaylon Smith.

In Sunday's loss to Seattle, he became a regular on defense in the second half when Lee's hamstring began acting up again.

Vander Esch tied Lee's game-high 11 tackles, including one for loss. It was an early career-best for the Cowboys' first-round draft pick, who has shown versatility playing all three linebacker spots. 

"I think the guys kept fighting," Vander Esch said. "I think we did a pretty good job of communicating and making sure everybody was on the same page, making some adjustments, but we've got some stuff to clean up all around the defense and it starts with yourself first. I've got to learn from my mistakes, get better next week and just start preparing for the new opponent."

-Rob Phillips

Sean Lee Exits With Hamstring Injury

(Sept. 29; 5:55 p.m.) – Linebacker Sean Lee's hamstring issues continued Sunday at Seattle.

The Cowboys' defensive captain was ruled out of the game with a hamstring injury in the fourth quarter. Lee had already been idle on the sideline wearing a ball cap near the end of the third quarter, an indication he would not return to the game.

Lee started the game despite missing practice time during the week with hamstring tightness. Rookie Leighton Vander Esch replaced him in the lineup after the injury.

-Rob Phillips

Jeff Heath Returns In 2nd Haft

SEATTLE – Cowboys starting safety Jeff Heath appeared to roll his left ankle in the second quarter of the Cowboys' road game against Seattle.

Heath slowly walked off the field under his own power. He went into the locker room for X-rays before halftime.

Safety depth has been an issue for Dallas so far this season. Xavier Woods is making his season debut against Seattle after missing the first two games with a hamstring injury. Kavon Frazier, already dealing with a preseason shoulder injury, was shaken up in the first quarter but returned to the game.

(UPDATE: Heath returned to the lineup on the Cowboys' second defensive drive of the third quarter.)

-Rob Phillips

Sean Lee, Earl Thomas Both Active For Week 3

SEATTLE – Sean Lee is officially active for the Cowboys' Week 3 game against Seattle.

It's not a huge surprise, but there's always concern for the All-Pro linebacker when a hamstring injury is involved. Lee was limited in practice on Thursday and Friday, and he is expected to suit up against the Seahawks on Sunday afternoon.

Lee is active, but newly-added wide receiver Brice Butler won't be. Butler was signed on Tuesday as the club's seventh receiver, but three days of practice apparently wasn't enough to get him ready for game day.

Sunday's full list of inactives is quarterback Mike White, Butler, linebacker Chris Covington, center Travis Frederick, guard Xavier Su'a-Filo, tight end Dalton Schultz and defensive tackle Maliek Collins.

For Seattle, it's noteworthy that All-Pro safety Earl Thomas is active for the game. Thomas didn't practice on Thursday and Friday for undisclosed reasons, and it was speculated that he might not play. The perennial Pro Bowler has been in a public spat with the Seahawks' front office over contract negotiations, and there has been rampant speculation throughout the weekend that he may be traded.

For the time being, though, Thomas will suit up against the Cowboys.

Other than Butler, the Cowboys' inactives are not overly newsworthy. Frederick and Collins were ruled out on Friday, while White, Schultz and Su'a-Filo were inactive last week.

Along with Lee, safety Xavier Woods and defensive end Randy Gregory are both active – though that is to be expected after both players practiced all week.

-David H

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