Could Sean Lee play on Thanksgiving?

IRVING, Texas -- The Dallas Cowboys are holding out hope that linebacker Sean Lee could return to the lineup as early as Thanksgiving against the Oakland Raiders.

Lee was ruled out of Sunday’s game against the New York Giants, but there's an outside shot he could play Nov. 28, according to a source.

Lee said Friday that his strained hamstring is improving and he is looking to play as quickly as possible, but he has to be careful not to rush a return. The initial timetable for Lee was 3-4 weeks, which likely would have meant a Dec. 9 return against the Chicago Bears.

“I don’t intend to fly long without him,” owner and general manager Jerry Jones said when asked about Lee’s status on Thursday.

Jason Garrett made mention of Lee’s rehab work during the bye week. Lee has been going through all kinds of treatment, from a hyperbaric chamber to a compression boot. He said he has been doing some running, but would need to test the leg more before feeling OK to return.

There is a two-sided argument regarding a possible Thanksgiving return for Lee, since there is an 11-day break between the Raiders and Bears games. The Cowboys have a short week of preparation for the Raiders, but then they have a longer-than-normal break, during which he could get ready for the Bears.

Ernie Sims will replace Lee in the starting lineup Sunday against the Giants.