The immediate on-field reaction of teammates spoke volumes, as several hung their heads and expressed outward frustration with Lee's injury.
Lee's looming long-term absence is another reminder that Romo has been unfairly tagged as the face of the Cowboys' disappointment over the past half-decade. Although it's a positive sign that the Cowboys have finally reversed their longstanding policy of overpaying to keep their own marquee players, they continue to miss the playoffs as a star-driven team lacking any semblance of quality roster depth.
Here's what else we learned Tuesday as 25 teams took to the field for OTAs.
- Bruce Arians was the bane of the fantasy football world last season when he refused to expand Andre Ellington's role at Rashard Mendenhall's expense. The reason given at the time: Ellington was a thin-hipped, slightly built back who couldn't handle a heavy workload. Once Ellington bulked up early in the offseason, Arians told reporters at the NFL Scouting Combine that he would build his offense around the scatback.
Arians doubled down on that message Tuesday, continuing the laughable tradition of NFL coaches predicting 25-30 touches per game for their featured backs. So one season after playing it smart with Ellington to prevent injury, Arians is prescribing 400-500 touches in an offense that features Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd? We wish you weren'ta liar, Bruce Arians.
- The Cardinals' offensive line sheds light on the risk of reading too much into first-, second- and third-team reps during offseason practices. Bobby Massie (at right tackle) and Earl Watford (right guard) worked in with the first team on Tuesday after Bradley Sowell and Paul Fanaika handled the starter's reps a week ago. Depth charts are fluid and coaches are experimenting, which presents a challenge for observers heralding a changing of the guard.
In the case of the Bengals' backfield, though, it certainly seems as if BenJarvus Green-Ellis is being phased out, as predicted by NFL Media's Bucky Brooks on last Friday's "Around The League Podcast". Giovani Bernardtook the first-team snaps, with rookie Jeremy Hill handling second-team work. Green-Ellis worked behind both of the young backs, an ominous sign after averaging a paltry 3.4 yards per carry last season.
- Among the players returning to practice after missing time with injuries were Titans quarterback Jake Locker (foot), Steelers center Maurkice Pouncey, Chargers wide receiver Malcom Floyd (neck), Dolphins wide receivers Brian Hartline (knee) and Brandon Gibson (knee), Patriots cornerback Kyle Arrington (groin) and Cowboys defensive lineman Tyrone Crawford (Achilles).
- Among the players missing Tuesday's OTAs with injuries were SeahawksSuper Bowl XLVIII MVP Malcolm Smith (minor ankle surgery) and safety Kam Chancellor (hip surgery), Bears guard Matt Slauson (shoulder surgery), Raiders defensive lineman Antonio Smith (undisclosed surgery), Bucs guard Carl Nicks (toe) and Cowboys defensive tackle Henry Melton (knee surgery).
- The most transformed body this offseason apparently belongs to Dolphins edge rusher Dion Jordan. The Miami Herald quipped that he "looked as if he took an air pump and plugged it into his arms and shoulders." The Dolphins have decided that the athletically gifted 2013 first-rounder is better utilized in attacking the quarterback rather than dropping into coverage.