Longtime Cowboys LB Sean Lee retiring after 11-year career

Sean Lee is officially hanging up his spikes after 11 years with the Dallas Cowboys.

The two-time Pro Bowl linebacker announced his retirement Monday. ESPN first reported the news.

Lee confirmed the decision in a letter thanking 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," Lee wrote, thanking the club, the Joneses, the training staff, his teammates and his family. "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.

"Thank you, Cowboys Nation. It has been my honor."

A second-round pick out of Penn State, Lee entered the NFL with injury concerns. Despite constantly battling nagging injuries, the linebacker was an impact player when on the field. That he lasted 11 years is impressive considering the injuries he battled through, including missing the entire 2014 season with a torn ACL.

Lee bounced back from that missed campaign to make back-to-back Pro Bowls and was voted an All-Pro in 2016.

During the bulk of his prime, the Cowboys looked drastically worse when Lee wasn't on the field. Unfortunately, the impact player missed 58 games through the course of his career.

The Cowboys credited Lee with 995 tackles for his career, which according to the club, is eighth-most in franchise history. Starting 92 of 118 regular-season games played, Lee also generated 14 INTs, scored two TDs and had 30 passes defended.

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