Upper St. Clair, Penn State product Sean Lee unfazed by Cowboys position change
Upper St. Clair and Penn State graduate Sean Lee was named an All Pro after the most recent full NFL season he played.
Unfortunately, that was 2016 for the Dallas Cowboys linebacker. In between were injuries and the emergence of two young players on his team at his position. As such, the Dallas Morning news reports that the two-time Pro Bowler is readying for a position change from inside linebacker to strongside linebacker.
Lee seems to be taking it in stride.
“As the game has changed, the standup linebacker positions can be similar at times,” Lee told the DMN Wednesday at a charity event in Texas. “There are different responsibilities.
“Learning some of those different responsibilities, I’ll be working on (that) and I have great help from (position coach Ben Bloom). And then there will be times when I’ll be in similar positions I’ve been in.”
The Cowboys spent top-34 draft picks on linebackers two out of three years between 2016-18. Jaylon Smith emerged as a standout at middle linebacker last season, and first-round pick Leighton Vander Esch was named to the Pro Bowl last season as a rookie playing the weak side.
Troy Aikman: “I think Leighton Vander Esch is destined to be one of the all-time greats. I really do. … He’s an old school linebacker in size, but new school in his ability to cover and run.” pic.twitter.com/ZzNbacMrBV
— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) November 23, 2018
Those are the positions Lee had played for the Cowboys since they drafted him 55th overall in 2010 (three spots after the Pittsburgh Steelers bypassed him to take fellow linebacker Jason Worilds).
“That’s a dream come true to play with two young guys who love football,’” Lee said of Vander Esch and Smith.
“All-Pro players who played unbelievable last year and really willed our team from a tough record early in the season, to snap back and get into the playoffs is really because of those guys, how well they played and the whole group, the whole defense.”
Lee was a star in high school in both football and basketball, and he was second-team Big Ten twice at Penn State. He has 698 tackles in 93 games over nine NFL seasons. Lee will turn 33 in July.
Chris Adamski is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Chris by email at [email protected] or via Twitter .