Sean Lee to Replace Justin Houston at 2016 NFL Pro Bowl

Matt Fitzgerald@@MattFitz_geraldCorrespondent IIIJanuary 20, 2016

SAN DIEGO, CA - SEPTEMBER 29:  Middle linebacker Sean Lee #50 of the Dallas Cowboys looks on against the San Diego Chargers at Qualcomm Stadium on September 29, 2013 in San Diego, California.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)
Jeff Gross/Getty Images

Dallas Cowboys star linebacker Sean Lee will replace Kansas City Chiefs pass-rusher extraordinaire Justin Houston in the 2016 Pro Bowl.

David Helman reported the news Wednesday for the Cowboys' official website. Lee's bid for January 31's showcase at Aloha Stadium in Honolulu gives America's Team five Pro Bowlers from this past season.  

A hyperextended knee hampered Houston down the stretch of the regular season and into the playoffs, where the Chiefs were eliminated in the divisional round.

Perhaps Kansas City could have gone deeper if Houston were 100 percent, considering he could change the game at any time when he's full strength. Houston led the NFL in sacks with 22 in 2014—a year in which Lee didn't play a single down.

In terms of knee injuries, Lee is certainly no stranger to such a situation. It was quite an impressive bounce-back 2015 campaign mounted by Lee to earn his first-ever spot in the impending Pro Bowl.

After tearing his ACL during organized team activities and missing the entire 2014 season, Lee didn't miss a beat upon his return. The 29-year-old racked up a career-high 128 combined tackles, 2.5 sacks, five passes defensed and an interception in 14 games.

Despite fielding an offense that sputtered without injured quarterback Tony Romo, Dallas managed to finish a respectable 16th in scoring defense. Lee deserves considerable credit for that ranking as the team captain and emotional leader of the Cowboys on that side of the ball.

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Provided both Lee, Romo and the majority of the team's other stars can stay healthy in 2016, Dallas ought to improve considerably on a woeful 4-12 campaign.

There is high-end talent on the roster as it stands, headlined by a magnificent offensive line. Left tackle Tyron Smith, athletic guard Zack Martin and center Travis Frederick are all Hawaii-bound to join Lee and exceptional kicker Dan Bailey.

Armed with the No. 4 overall pick in the upcoming NFL draft, owner Jerry Jones and the Cowboys front office have the chance to acquire a premium player to help the cause, too. 


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