Sean Lee's 'Groundhog Day' includes cautious start to OTAs

FRISCO, Texas – Sean Lee goes through the same dance with the Dallas Cowboys’ strength and conditioning and athletic training staffs each offseason. He says he wants to practice. They tell him to take things slowly.

“It’s like 'Groundhog Day' for me,” Lee said. “I kind of fight them and they put perspective on me and I listen to them.”

With the Cowboys starting OTAs this week, Lee is working out during the on-field practices, and as the offseason goes on, he will do more and more so that, by the time training camp begins in late July in Oxnard, California, he will be full go.

“It’s the same process we kind of use this time of year,” Lee said. “I get the governor put on me and have to be smart this time of year. It’s tough not being out there because you want to be out there trying to lead from the front, but there’s perspective that’s kept this time of year that we’ve got to build toward training camp and build towards the year. I’ve had an issue staying on the field. Really, two years ago, I felt in ’15 and ’16 we did a good job staying on the field. Last year, I didn’t. So I think we have a great game plan to try to keep me out there.”

Separate hamstring strains caused Lee to miss five games in 2017. Lee has studied when he got hurt last year and, along with the rehab staff, has come up with a plan with stretching, massage and active release therapy to help strengthen the hamstrings while increasing flexibility.

“It’s more how I was injured,” Lee said. “I kind of did it in a cut concentrically, so we’re making sure the strength in the hamstring is there. ... But really more just kind of making sure we peak in camp and making sure we’re building toward that is what we want to do.”