Cowboys Receive Gut-Punching News on Sean Lee Return: Report

Sean Lee

Getty Sean Lee

This explains why the Dallas Cowboys poached a linebacker Tuesday.

According to NFL Network’s Jane Slater, starting Cowboys LB Sean Lee underwent sports hernia surgery and expects to miss six weeks. Lee, already on injured reserve until at least Week 3, is now eyeing a mid-October return.

Lee’s groin issue dates back to 2019; ESPN’s Todd Archer has termed it a “pelvis strain.” The 34-year-old signed a one-year contract this offseason to retain his job aside Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch.

The perpetually-plagued Lee, who has yet to practice in 2020, also suffered an undisclosed injury amid pre-training camp strength and conditioning workouts, head coach Mike McCarthy revealed last month.

What could be dubbed a setback for Lee piles added strain on a Dallas front-seven that lost Vander Esch to a broken collarbone, the recovery period for which is 6-8 weeks. Reserve ‘backer Luke Gifford (ankle) also was inactive for the team’s season-opening loss to the Los Angeles Rams.

Career backup Joe Thomas should start in LVE’s stead Sunday when the Cowboys make their 2020 home debut against the Atlanta Falcons. The other likely starters are the Smiths — Aldon and Jaylon.

As insurance, the Cowboys signed LB Rashad Smith off the Chicago Bears’ practice squad. Smith is an undrafted rookie who joined Chicago in April. He was a standout at Florida Atlantic University, compiling 316 tackles, 31 tackles-for-loss, 11.5 sacks, and seven interceptions across 51 games.

The sum of their parts, including Gifford and Justin March, must hold down the fort until Lee’s reinsertion, perhaps as soon as Week 6 vs. Arizona on Monday Night Football.

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Cowboys Add Ex-49ers Starting DB to PS

Dallas filled two vacant practice squad spots Tuesday with defensive backs Steven Parker and Rashard Robinson, the team announced.

Parker, a 2018 undrafted free agent, appeared in 14 games for the Miami Dolphins last season, registering 20 tackles, three PBUs, and two INTs. He was claimed off waivers by the Vikings on Aug. 14 and cut three weeks later.

Parker (6-1, 210) played collegiately at Oklahoma where he was a two-time second-teal All-Big 12 selection, finishing with 217 tackles, 20 pass breakups and two interceptions across 50 career games.

Robinson (6-2, 177) was chosen by the San Francisco 49ers in the fourth round of the 2016 draft. He spent two years with the 49ers (13 starts) and the last two with the New York Jets (two starts).

Altogether, the once-hyped LSU product — noted for his history of non-football-related transgressions — has 38 professional games, 63 tackles, 15 PBUs, and two INTs to his name.

Parker and Robinson join fellow DBs Saivion Smith, Deante Burton, and Chris Westry on the Cowboys’ 16-player practice squad.

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Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL