Since 2010, Sean Lee has been a mainstay for the Dallas Cowboys when healthy. This Sunday, even though he’s healthy, Lee is expected to be inactive.
Jane Slater of NFL Network reported Lee won’t be active today, citing depth at other positions and because Lee doesn’t play special teams.
#Cowboys LB Sean Lee won’t be active today per a team source. Lee, back from injury has been limited, but he’s healthy. This is about depth at other positions today & because he doesn’t play on special teams and would average about 12-15 plays made more sense to activate others
— Jane Slater (@SlaterNFL) December 23, 2018
What this really is about, however, is that the rookie Dallas drafted in the first round this year, Leighton Vander Esch, has essentially made Lee irrelevant. Last weekend when Lee came back healthy, he told the Cowboys not to take snaps away from Vander Esch to get him playing time. This weekend, things are obviously going a bit further.
It makes sense. Lee has been an outstanding cover linebacker over the course of his career when he’s been able to play. Vander Esch is even better. Plus, Dallas has Jaylon Smith to pair him with, and these two youngsters are among the league’s best duo at the linebacker position.
One wonders what this means for Lee going forward. The 32-year-old has one year remaining on his current contract, but the Cowboys could save almost $4 million if they cut him in 2019.