FRISCO - Megan and Sean Lee love football. But now that the long-time defensive leader is retiring after 11 years with the Dallas Cowboys, the two-time Pro Bowl linebacker is revealing to me his pursuit of another love.
"Right now,'' Lee tells me, "I'm just being a beach bum.''
Lee, 34, on Monday announced his retirement, writing in a letter to Cowboys Nation, "For 11 seasons, I was privileged to wear the Cowboys star. We want to play forever. But today, it's my time to walk away.''
Of course, he might "walk back.'' But Megan and Sean do love spending their offseason time traveling, enjoying California - including, it is now presumed, the beaches of California.
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Eventually - and maybe soon - the lure of football will come back to him. He's lived a football life, a second-round pick out of Penn State who entered the NFL with injury concerns and never quite exited that, making back-to-back Pro Bowls and being voted an All-Pro in 2016 and making a name for himself as a model Cowboy.
But, as he wrote, "Whenever I'm near a field, the smell brings me back to when I first started playing, pulling on a helmet, trying on those shoulder pads, that perfect tackle. To think of the journey now, experiencing things I never thought possible with the men and women who make this game what it is, I'm beyond grateful.''
Lee - a playmaker who in addition to being one of Dallas' all-time tackles leaders recorded 14 interceptions, scored two TDs and had 30 passes defended - will probably smell that smell again. He's talked often about going into coaching, and the Cowboys would be wise to keep him in the building in that regard.
Has a decision been made there?
"I'm not sure yet,'' Sean Lee tells me, reinforcing the point that "as of now, I've just been a beach bum.''