Cowboys move up again, take LB Lee

Updated: April 24, 2010, 2:31 AM ET
By Calvin Watkins | ESPNDallas.com

IRVING, Texas -- For the second consecutive day, the Dallas Cowboys traded up in the NFL draft, selecting Penn State inside linebacker Sean Lee in the second round Friday night.

Dallas acquired the 55th overall pick from the Philadelphia Eagles to use on Lee. The Cowboys gave their second-rounder, No. 59 overall, and one of their fourth-rounders (No. 125) to the Eagles.

Lee tore the ACL in his right knee during 2008 spring drills, leading him to redshirt that season. He played last season with a bulky brace, but he said he's completely healthy and doesn't plan to wear a brace as a pro.

"I've been 100 percent for a long time now," the 6-2, 236-pound Lee said during a conference call with Valley Ranch media, acknowledging that the knee still bothered him early last season.

Lee said several teams told him that they were concerned about his health, not his ability. He understands that line of thinking but prefers to look at the situation the other way.

"I really believe that I can come back from injuries," Lee said. "I see it as a positive. A lot of these guys are going to be injured. I've come back from them and know how to play through them. That's part of football."

The selection of Lee could mean the end of nickel linebacker Bobby Carpenter, a former first-round pick who has failed to move into the starting lineup on a full-time basis.

The Cowboys, who employ a 3-4 scheme, could also be preparing for the departure of veteran inside linebacker Keith Brooking, who turns 35 in October.

The other starting inside linebacker, Bradie James, is only 29, but his contract expires after the 2011 season.

The Cowboys moved up three spots in the first round Thursday to select former Oklahoma State wide receiver Dez Bryant.

Calvin Watkins covers the Cowboys for ESPNDallas.com. You can follow him on Twitter or leave a question for his weekly mailbag.

ESPNDallas.com's Tim MacMahon contributed to this report.

Calvin Watkins joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009. He's covered the Cowboys since 2006 and also has covered colleges, boxing and high school sports.

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