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Sean Lee’s Absence Leaves a Humongous Hole

Sean Lee's Absence Leaves Huge Hole

Game Notes

Sean Lee’s Absence Leaves a Humongous Hole

Sean Lee’s Absence Leaves a Humongous Hole

There will be a lot made of the performance by the left side of the Dallas Cowboys offensive line–namely Chaz Green–and rightfully so. Green and left guard Jonathan Cooper were not good. To this fan, however, the game was lost when Sean Lee went out with a hamstring injury late in the first quarter.

Sure one player does not a defense make, but lets look at the numbers before they played the Atlanta Falcons, with Sean Lee and without Sean Lee.

With Sean Lee for six games, the Dallas Cowboys defense only allowed 18 points per game, 80.33 rushing yards per game, and went 5-1.

I covered it some in this game’s By the Numbers, but let me refresh your memory.

Without Sean Lee for two games, against the Los Angeles Rams and the Green Bay Packers, albeit two really good offensive teams, the Dallas Cowboys defense allowed 35 points per game, 164 yards rushing per game, and went 0-2.

Remember, those numbers include the awful performance by the Dallas Cowboys in their week two loss to the now awful looking Denver Broncos.

But Let’s Just Look at Cowboys @ Falcons Now

Sean Lee went out of the game toward the end of the first quarter with his hamstring injury on a play that looked really innocuous.

In the first quarter, the Atlanta Falcons rushed five times for negative three yards.

You read that right, negative three yards!!!

The Falcons first drive gained them three yards before Anthony Brown’s coverage forced the ball in the air and Xavier Woods intercepted it. On the second drive, Dallas was making Atlanta work for it, getting them to third downs twice and conceding the first before finally making a stop and holding them to a 50 yard field goal, which was made by Matt Bryant.

The game took a different turn after that three-point scoring drive.

From the second quarter on, the Atlanta Falcons ran for 129 yards on 35 carries, led by Tevin Coleman’s 20 carries for 83 yards. That 3.68 yards per carry isn’t great, but it was certainly effective. The difference being they were able to make big gains on the ground.

Dallas was able to hold the Falcons to a field goal in the first quarter and gave up another 24 over the final three quarters.

When Dallas was able to get quick penetration into the backfield, whether a defensive lineman or a blitzing player, they were able to drop Atlanta’s ball carriers for losses. If the defensive line got blocked at the point of attack, the Falcons were able to make big gains.

From the second quarter on, there were six runs that went for negative yardage. In that same time frame, there were five runs that went for 10 or more yards.

The most important thing the Falcons run game was able to do was open up the play-action pass that killed the Dallas Cowboys in the second half. Once Atlanta started hitting some big plays in the run game, the Cowboys couldn’t keep up as they tried to pay extra attention to stopping the run.

Despite Atlanta’s struggles this season, that was still a good offense, and they took advantage of a huge personnel weakness on Sunday afternoon.

The absence of Sean Lee.

If the Dallas Cowboys want to get back on the winning side of the ledger in week 11 at the Philadelphia Eagles, Sean Lee better be on the field.

John Williams

I didn’t start out as a Cowboys fan, but I got here as quickly as I could. I grew up a Joe Montana fan when he was with the 49ers and followed him to the Chiefs, until we moved to Texas. I’ve now been a Fan of the Boys since the Dark Days of the Post-Aikman, Pre-Romo era of abysmal quarterback play, now relishing in more than a decade of franchise quarterbacking for America’s Team.

2 Comments
  • Russ_Te

    I’m going to say it, and if anybody wants to say I’m wrong – they are probably right.

    However – not only did Lee’s play in which he got the hamstring look innocuous, he was walking around fine on the sidelines. Then the report comes that this may be another multiple-week injury. Must be the most fragile hamstring in the NFL.

    When I saw Lee on the sidelines walking around, I thought he was coming back in. Now he can’t go for weeks. WTF…

    • John Williams

      Hamstrings are funny injuries. You can look like you’re walking normal, but with every step there can be pain. Because the muscles in your thigh are so integral to everything you do on the move, it doesn’t surprise me. Walking straight forward could be no problem, but moving laterally or planting could cause serious pain and even be inhibited because of the pain.

      At 31, we may be looking at the last season for Sean Lee with a Star on his helmet.

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