Sources –October

1:26 PM ET

  • Todd ArcherESPN Staff Writer

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    • Covered NFL since 1997, Cowboys since 2003
    • Previously covered Bengals and Dolphins
    • Lives in Dallas area with his wife and two children

FRISCO, Texas — Dallas Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee will be out until the middle of October after undergoing surgery last week to repair a pelvis/sports hernia issue, sources confirmed to ESPN on Wednesday.

The Cowboys placed Lee on injured reserve prior to their season opener, which knocked him out of at least the first three games. Now, there is a possibility he could return Oct. 19 against Arizona or Oct. 25 against Washington.

Lee had issues with his pelvis late last season and aggravated it in workouts at the start of training camp. The hope was rest and rehab would help the problem but surgery was deemed the best route.

A longer than expected absence for Lee exacerbates the Cowboys’ issues at linebacker. Leighton Vander Esch had surgery for his broken left collarbone on Tuesday and will miss six to eight weeks. Joe Thomas will take over as a starter, and Rashad Smith, who was signed off Chicago’s practice squad Tuesday, can’t be at The Star until Thursday because of COVID-19 protocols.

Lee signed a one-year deal in the offseason to return to the Cowboys for an 11th season. He has been beset by injuries over the years, ranging from hamstring, toe, neck, knee and wrist injuries. Last year was the first time he played a full season; he was held out of the 2018 finale by the coaches.

NFL Network first reported the Lee surgery.

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