Dallas Cowboys

Sean Lee makes his presence felt vs. Giants with 18 tackles

Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee (50) makes one of his 18 tackles Sunday night.
Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee (50) makes one of his 18 tackles Sunday night. pmoseley@star-telegram.com

Sean Lee twice has tied the team record for tackles in a game. He came close Sunday night.

The weakside linebacker was all over the field against the Giants, making 11 solo tackles and 18 totals tackles.

“He’s been remarkably good,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said Monday. “He’s a great football. We all know that. He’s been a really good football player throughout his career. He’s probably playing his best ball right now. His production is off the charts. One of the things that we commented on as coaches is it’s a lot of different kinds of production. If it’s direct runs at him, he’s productive. If it’s sacking the quarter, he’s productive. If it’s recovering a fumble, he’s productive. If it’s coverage, it’s runs to the inside, it’s runs to the outside, it’s tackle after the catch, he’s just everywhere. And he’s doing a lot of different things for us on top of the communication and the leadership that he has.

“He is an outstanding football player. His preparation and his instincts are off the charts and they show up on Sundays. He was unbelievable last night.”

Tackles are an unofficial NFL statistic, so the Cowboys use coaches’ film for their numbers. They will not have Lee’s totals from the game until Tuesday, but they surely won’t be less than the 18 the pressbox stats crew gave him.

Lee had 21 tackles against Seattle in a 2012 game and 21 against the Chargers in a 2013 game. Lee Roy Jordan also had 21 in a 1971 game against Philadelphia.

“There were a couple of tackles left out there,” Lee said.

He also had a tackle for loss, a quarterback hit and a fumble recovery.

Using pressbox numbers, the NFL ranks Lee second in the NFL in total tackles this season with 130 behind Seattle linebacker Bobby Wagner’s 139. But Cowboys’ coaches had Lee with 134 before Sunday’s game.

Lee, in his sixth season, is three games from playing his first full, 16-game season. He has missed only one defensive snap this season.

He made his first Pro Bowl last season and appears well on his way to another this season. Lee also could earn All-Pro honors for the first time.

“He’s playing about as well as he’s ever played right now,” Garrett said.