As a passionate football player, he wants to take part in organized team activities (OTAs), but the training staff advises against it. After all, this is a guy who has never played a full 16-game season.
“It’s like ‘Groundhog Day’ for me,” Lee said on Wednesday. “I kind of fight them and they put perspective on me and I listen to them.
“I get the governor put on me and have to be smart this time of year.”
Lee, who turns 32 this summer, is focused on being healthy and available for the Cowboys every game. He could’ve played all 16 games in 2016, but was held out of the season finale with the Cowboys locked into the top overall seed going into it.
Last season, Lee missed five games with hamstring injuries. He looked into the causes of those injuries, and is doing what he can to ensure it doesn’t happen again.
“I kind of did it in a cut concentrically, so we’re making sure the strength in the hamstring is there,” Lee said. “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.”
Lee has played in 86 of a possible 128 regular-season games in his career, missing the entire 2014 season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament he sustained during an OTA practice.
That’s part of the reason the Cowboys are taking a cautious approach with Lee. He was on the field during football activities for the first week of OTAs, but didn’t participate.
The plan is for him to build up and be full-go when the Cowboys begin training camp in July in Oxnard, California.
“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,” Lee said. “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.”