There’s nothing at stake for the Cowboys on Sunday, other than a higher draft position. For linebacker Sean Lee, plenty is at stake.
Lee, to borrow a catch phrase from a Dallas drama of yesteryear, has two million reasons to play.
As explained by Brandon George of the Dallas Morning News, Lee’s contract escalates from $3 million to $5 million in 2016 if he participates in 80 percent of the defensive snaps. Currently, Lee has been on the field for 82.1 percent of the plays on defense. Listed as questionable with a hamstring injury, if Lee doesn’t play and if the Cowboys match their average defensive snaps of 66 per game, Lee’s participation will drop to 77 percent.
And he’ll miss the trigger for the escalator.
The Cowboys could redo the deal to give Lee the extra money. Or the Cowboys could say “them’s the breaks.”
The issue becomes irrelevant if Lee plays enough snaps to keep his average for the year at or above 80 percent. It’s something to keep an eye on in a game that otherwise provides few reasons to pay attention.