OXNARD, Calif. – Sean Lee's practice workload is increasing, and the fans lining the bleachers at the River Ridge complex clearly noticed.
In his second practice in seven-on-seven drills, Lee drew cheers Wednesday when he and safety Barry Church ripped the ball away from Joseph Randle and it landed in J.J. Wilcox's arms for a defensive turnover.
"I think that just kind of follows Sean around – big plays," Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said. "It's great to see him out there."
The Cowboys limited Lee to individual drills at the start of training camp as part of their plan to ease him back into full practice after he missed the entire 2014 season due to ACL surgery.
The veteran linebacker worked his way into team drills during offseason workouts, and he's progressively ramping up his workload in Oxnard, too.
"I feel great," Lee said. "I feel like we've improved every week, every month and that's the key to continue to go that way."[embeddedad0]
Lee is moving to the weak side linebacker spot this season for a couple of reasons: It's a high-production position that will maximize Lee's sideline-to-sideline playmaking ability; and he won't be as exposed to contact quite as often as he was at middle linebacker.
The year Lee spent rehabbing with the athletic training staff helped him gain a better understanding of techniques and scheme. He said he expects to play a lot in preseason, though the final decision will be the coaching staff's.
"Every time you leave you realize how much you love the game," Lee said. "I've been away from it too much. I think what helped me with the process of being injured a lot is I know how to deal with it.
"I think the one thing I can say is, I've missed a lot of time but I've also come back from a lot of injuries and been able to produce after injuries. That's my goal now: coming back, being able to stay on the field but also producing after an injury."