FRISCO, Texas – At least one big decision seems to have been made for 2020.
Word surfaced Monday morning that Sean Lee has made a decision on his future, as he told ESPN.com he intended to come back for another year. His agent, Mike McCartney, also confirmed to NFL Network that Lee was returning, extending his NFL career into an 11th season.
The question of where he will play is another matter.
At the age of 33, Lee is one of the longest-tenured Cowboys on the team's roster. He was drafted No. 55 overall in the 2010 NFL Draft and has been a fixture for the Dallas defense for the past decade. Only injuries – which, regrettably, have been substantial – have kept him out of the lineup.
Ironically, it was Lee's clean bill of health that helped him enjoy a bit of a resurgence last year. He started the 2019 season as the Cowboys' strong side linebacker and a backup to Leighton Vander Esch, but he stepped into a starting role when Vander Esch went down with a neck injury. Lee started 13 games, including the last nine in a row, and tallied 109 tackles with a sack and an interception.
Prior to the last game of the season, Lee said his ability to perform would be part of the decision on whether or not he would return in 2020.
"I'm happy that I was able to be consistently on the field and in a lot of situations, being able to help and being effective," he said. "That was a plus for me, and that will be part of the evaluation, obviously."
The decision seems to have been made, although it's still unclear where he might play. Lee is set to be a free agent in March, after signing a one-year contract last offseason. It's certainly possible he could return for an 11th season with the Cowboys, but it seems likely he'll test the market beforehand.
Vander Esch had a small procedure on his neck in January, and the Cowboys are confident he'll be available for their offseason program. They also signed Jaylon Smith to a five-year, $65 million contract extension back in August.
But with Vander Esch still recovering, and with fellow veteran Joe Thomas slated for free agency, re-signing Lee might be something the Cowboys strongly consider.