IRVING, Texas – The excitement that was apparent at the start of Tuesday's OTA practice at Valley Ranch was met with equal concern by the end of the 90-minute session.
The sight of linebacker Sean Lee being helped off the field by two trainers after injuring his left knee was enough to ruin what was an upbeat, enthusiastic first practice of the offseason for the entire squad.
The significance of the injury remains unclear. Head coach Jason Garrett said in his post-practice press conference that Lee will undergo an MRI Tuesday afternoon.
Obviously Lee's injury history has been a major topic of discussion for this entire team since he joined the team in 2010. The Cowboys drafted Lee in the second round because he was considered injury-prone and during his four seasons, Lee hasn't been able to shed that label. Last year he missed five of the last six games, including the final three with a neck injury.
He was cleared to practice a few weeks ago but it was near the end of the team session when Lee got caught up with first-round draft pick Zack Martin on a play that put Lee to the ground.
"I really don't know what happened [embedded_ad] there," Martin said. "It was just a football play and we were both going full speed. I really don't know."
The injury occurred on a screen pass to the flat and Martin was on the move from his right guard spot. Lee was running towards the line of scrimmage when he stopped to make a cut to his left. That's when he apparently collided with Martin and dropped to the ground.
Lee spent about two minutes on the ground before being helped up by the athletic trainers. The obviously-frustrated linebacker couldn't hide his emotions as he went into the locker room. His teammates didn't exactly hold back either. Safety Barry Church was seen his shaking his head in disgust several plays after the incident.
If Lee's injury proves to be significant, the Cowboys will likely turn to either DeVonte Holloman, Justin Durant or even rookie Anthony Hitchens, a fourth-round pick from Iowa.