Sunday night, the Dallas Cowboys and New York Giants put on a defensive battle for the ages, with the Giants coming out on top 10-7. It was a tough pill for Cowboys fans to swallow, as we still sit here angrily thinking about what could have been if they had won.
NFC East champs, first round bye, redemption for their week one loss. All of it now delayed for at least one more week. As awful a loss it was, we still must appreciate the players which came through with big games.
In their best performance of the entire season, the Cowboys defense followed their leader, Sean Lee, and held the Giants to just 10 points. Lee, who was named the Cowboys NFL Man of the Year candidate earlier in the week, finished with 18 tackles in the loss, double the amount of any other defender in the game.
Those 18 tackles contribute to Lee's current season total of 130, second to only Seattle Seahawks middle linebacker Bobby Wagner. With three games to go in the season, Lee has already surpassed his previous career high in tackles of 128. He should blow by that number over the next three weeks.
The only question mark which has surrounded Lee throughout his entire career was about his health and durability. Last night, Lee played every single defensive snap of the game, and made his impact felt on each and every one.
Sean Lee played all 67 snaps. He has missed only one snap this season.
— Charean Williams (@NFLCharean) December 12, 2016
After missing the entire 2014 season, Lee has remained relatively healthy over the last two seasons and has cemented himself as one of the best (if not the best) WILL linebackers in the NFL.
Without a clear candidate emerging throughout the league, Sean Lee must be considered for Defensive Player of the Year, especially if he ends up as the league's leading tackler. The clear leader of an overachieving defense, and arguably the best player on that same defense, Sean Lee should be a shoo-in Pro Bowler this season.
That is, if the Cowboys aren't busy preparing for a much more important game come late January.