Sean Lee contract: Cowboys expected to extend LB before season

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Dallas is looking to lock up one of its bright young stars before the 2013 campaign.

The Dallas Cowboys are likely to lock up young middle linebacker Sean Lee before the season begins, according to ESPN.com.

In his three seasons after being drafted in the second round out of Penn State, Lee has amassed 195 tackles, including 105 in 2011. Last year, Lee was injured and only played in six contests.

Dallas has transitioned defensively to a 4-3 scheme under new coordinator Monte Kiffin, making Lee perhaps the most important player on the defense. Under Kiffin's "Tampa 2" scheme, the middle linebacker is required to cover the middle portion of the field on pass plays, sometimes dropping as far as 20 yards off the line of scrimmage.

Lee, 26, is very athletic and shown the ability to cover in a 3-4 scheme, making him ideal for this role. Over his career, Lee has seven interceptions including a career-high four in 2011.

In the past under Kiffin, Derrick Brooks of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers was assigned this role and likely carved out a Hall-of-Fame resume.

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