Lee was placed on injured reserve on Tuesday, which means he will not play until 2015. He suffered the injury during the first organized team activity of the offseason.
Lee had surgery on June 12. The Cowboys had the option of placing him on the physically unable to perform list at the start of training camp and could have put him on the reserve/PUP list, which would have cost him the first six games of the season with the opportunity to return after 12 weeks.
The normal recovery time for a torn ACL is 6-9 months.
With a few players likely being placed on PUP at the start of camp – Anthony Spencer, Amobi Okoye and others who could fail the conditioning test – the Cowboys could not eat up another roster spot on Lee, knowing there was only an outside shot he could play in December.
The Cowboys do not want to rush Lee’s recovery. He has not been able to play a full season in his career, missing time with hamstring, wrist, toe, hamstring and neck injuries. He is their most dynamic playmaker on defense, but they have been forced to play without him.
Now they know they will be without him for the full season.