FRISCO, Texas – Sean Lee has already missed two games this season with a hamstring injury, and Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett said "it might be some time" before the veteran linebacker returns from the hamstring issue that sidelined him for most of Sunday's 27-7 loss to the Falcons.
"We'll take it day by day," Garrett said Monday. "Don't anticipate him practicing certainly immediately this week. It might be some time. We'll see."
Lee left late in the first quarter against the Falcons and did not return to the game. The Cowboys are always deliberate with players recovering from soft-tissue injuries, and this is the second time Lee has dealt with a hamstring issue this season. Starting this Sunday against the Eagles, the Cowboys are set to play three games in a 12-day stretch, with the annual Thanksgiving Day game sandwiched in between.
First-year linebacker Jaylon Smith replaced Lee in the lineup against the Falcons. Veterans Justin Durant and Justin March-Lillard were inactive but can offer depth if Lee indeed misses time.
Garrett sounded more optimistic regarding All-Pro left tackle Tyron Smith, who was inactive Sunday with a groin injury. Smith might not practice Wednesday, but the Cowboys are hopeful he can do more work as the week progresses.
Smith's backups, Chaz Green and Byron Bell, allowed a combined seven sacks against Atlanta.
Garrett was asked if the upcoming Thanksgiving stretch is something to consider with Smith's eventual return. The Cowboys (5-4) play the first-place Eagles (8-1) this Sunday night at AT&T Stadium, then host the L.A. Chargers the following Thursday on three days' rest.
"I think the biggest thing you try to do is evaluate it for this game, and you don't try to get ahead of yourself," Garrett said. "There's 16 games, and if a player is available and ready, particularly a player of Tyron Smith's caliber, he plays in the game."
Elsewhere on the roster, Garrett said starting safety Jeff Heath entered the concussion protocol Sunday after leaving the game in the second half.
"Seems like he's doing better today," Garrett said.
Wide receiver Dez Bryant, listed as questionable during the week with knee and ankle injuries, started against the Falcons and came out of the game OK, Garrett said. Bryant had 4 catches for 39 yards.