Cowboys lose Lee to torn ACL

Lee tore his right ACL in April 2008 while at Penn State, and partially tore his left ACL in 2009. Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Dallas Cowboys starting linebacker Sean Lee suffered a torn ACL during organized team activities on Tuesday and is out for the season, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports.

Lee’s injury occurred late in Tuesday’s practice when his left knee buckled as he planted his foot during a non-contact workout. Guard Zack Martin inadvertently landed on top of Lee, but the injury happened before Martin hit Lee.

In four seasons, the injury-prone Lee has never played an entire 16-game season, his last two years ending on injured reserve.

It is a tough loss for the Cowboys, who were counting on Lee’s leadership and ability at middle linebacker coming off a year in which the defense led the league in yards allowed. The Cowboys also lost defensive end DeMarcus Ware and defensive tackle Jason Hatcher in free agency this offseason.

Rookie Anthony Hitchens, second-year man DeVonte Holloman and Justin Durant, the team’s starting strong-side linebacker, are candidates to replace Lee.