Post Draft Series II: Sean Lee

One of the areas of the Cowboys team thought to be under control was their linebackers.  The Cowboys entered the draft with a lot of players competing for jobs at the position.  Inside linebacker featured Bradie James, Keith Brooking, Bobby Carpenter (who may be on his way out), Stephen Hodge, and newly signed, Leon Williams.  There seemed to be a lot of competition at an area that was arguable one of the strongest on the squad.

With the Cowboys on the clock in the second round they decided to keep with their formula which was to take the best player available regardless of position.  That pick landed the Sean Lee.  Lee played both inside/outside  linebacker for Penn State.  He started at Penn St. for 3 seasons, missing his true senior year with a torn ACL in his right knee.

Lee brings a lot of good things to this Cowboys group of linebackers.  He has great instincts and is a very good tackler.  Lee was a huge surprise for the Nittany Lions as a sophomore when he earned a starting job at outside linebacker. He finished that season with 89 tackles, 8 tackles for loss, 5.5 sacks, and an interception. He improved upon those numbers as a junior, when he recorded 138 tackles, 10.5 tackles for loss, 3.5 sacks, broke up 9 passes, and forced 3 fumbles.  He missed the next year with his ACL injury.  Lee came back last season and moved to inside linebacker for his senior year.  He played very well when he was on the field. He finished the season with 86 tackles, 11 tackles for loss, and 2 sacks, in just 10 games.

The draw backs for Lee have been his health.  He missed a full season with his knee and missed a couple of games last season with a sprained right knee.  If he can stay healthy he can make a big impact in the future.  Lee also isn’t the fastest guy at the position running a modest 4.7 in the 40-yard dash, but he has good quickness and can get to each sideline from the middle.

With Lee’s arrival we have already seen the Cowboys seek a trade for Carpenter.  They may also look to move some other depth players for late picks or players in other positions.  Other than Carpenter, the player most affected by this pick is first year linebacker Stephen Hodge.  Hodge missed his rookie season on IR.  He will need to put in a great pre-season to jump over Lee on the depth chart.


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