FRISCO – For the first time during Organized Team Activities this offseason, Cowboys' linebacker Sean Lee practiced Wednesday when the media was allowed inside the Ford Center at the Star in Frisco.
Due to a history of injuries, the Cowboys handle Lee with kid gloves and manage his workload in hopes of keeping him healthy. Because of his injuries and the growth of linebackers Leighton Vander Esch and Jaylon Smith, Lee will start at strongside linebacker this season for the first time of his career -- a challenge he accepts.
"I get a lot of help from Coach (Ben) Bloom, who's got a ton of experience coaching a lot of different positions," Lee said. "Some of the situations are very similar to what I've done in the past, where I'm off the ball and I'm able to run and move a little bit. I pride myself on being versatile and being able to adapt, being able to play different positions, and hopefully become an expert at it. I love being out there."
If Lee can stay healthy this season, the Cowboys perhaps could have the best trio of starting linebackers in the NFL in Vander Esch, Smith and Lee. The nine-year veteran feels the defense can improve after finishing 7th overall in total defense in 2018.
"A lot of the year we played like we wanted to play," Lee said. "Our goal as a group is to take that next step and be a championship defense every single game. I think we played well a lot of the games."
The Cowboys 30-22 playoff loss to the Los Angeles Rams is certainly one exception to playing well -- and a setback that motivates the Cowboys defense.
"I think every day we think we think about it. We had a great opportunity and didn't play like we wanted to play. Didn't finish the season like we wanted to finish it, so I think we've used it as motivation," Lee said.
Dallas will wrap OTAs this week then hold a mandatory minicamp next week, June 11-13.