Dallas Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee retires after 11 NFL seasons

Sep 16, 2018; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee (50) on the sidelines against the New York Giants at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee is retiring from the NFL after 11 years, ending a career that saw him become a fan-favorite in Dallas.

Lee shared the news with ESPN’s Todd Archer, with the decision coming after another injury-riddled season for the 34-year-old linebacker.

A second-round pick in the 2010 NFL Draft, Lee saw the field immediately as a rookie. He recorded 26 solo tackles, three tackles for loss, two interceptions and forced a fumble in 14 games.

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Dallas made him its starting inside linebacker to open the 2011 season and he thrived. Unfortunately, it would also be the first year where injuries became a problem for him. He dislocated his wrist midway through the year, but managed to play through it and finished with a career-high four interceptions in 15 games.

Lee played in just six games the following year, suffering a season-ending toe injury on Oct. 12, 2012, He rebounded in 2013, signing a six-year contract worth $42 million and rewarded the Cowboys with his outstanding play in the middle of the defense.

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Unfortunately, Lee missed the 2014 season with a torn ACL. He returned to the field in 2015, earning his first Pro Bowl selection. In 2016, Lee was named first-team All-Pro and was widely viewed as one of the best linebackers in the NFL.

Lee’s final four seasons would be defined by injuries. From 2017-’20, he missed 21 games with a variety of lower-body strains. In his final season, Lee suffered a groin injury and underwent surgery. He played in just nine games, recording just 20 total tackles.

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