'Pivotal' Sean Lee: 'I'm Excited to Be Back With Cowboys' on One-Year Deal

Mike Fisher

FRISCO - The Dallas Cowboys are undergoing massive changes under new coach Mike McCarthy. But one of those will not involve a move regarding long-time foundational guy Sean Lee.

"My deal is done with Dallas,'' Lee tells CowboysSI.com on Tuesday afternoon. "I'm excited to be back with the Cowboys.'' 

Lee, who turns 34 in July, had said he hoped to finalize his plans "and will know fairly soon.'' "Soon'' comes on Day 2 of NFL free agency, as the Cowboys defense and leadership absorbed some blows.

Jason Witten, Maliek Collins and Jeff Heath are all gone, to the Las Vegas Raiders. And Byron Jones is gone to Miami. And Randall Cobb is gone to Houston. And Robert Quinn is gone to Chicago. But Lee is back, as his high level of healthy play added up to both Lee and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones viewing retirement as a future issue.

Lee's one-year deal is worth $4.5 million, with $2 mil guaranteed.

Indeed, a few weeks ago Jones listed a trio of important transactions he'd like to get done, and after mentioning the obvious names of Dak Prescott and Amari Cooper, also included Sean Lee as the third name on the list.

In short, this franchise views Lee as a pivotal player and person.

Lee played in all 16 games for the first time in his 10-year career and wound finishing the season with 86 tackles, a sack and an interception. The Cowboys have Jaylon Smith and the hopefully-healthy Leighton Vander Esch above him in the linebacker rotation but in terms of everything from performance to mentorship, Dallas bringing back Lee makes sense; we have a hard time seeing why a McCarthy coaching staff, guided by new coordinator Mike Nolan, would see it any differently.

"I love it in Dallas and I love the Cowboys,'' Lee said.

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