Sean Lee seemed to be around the ball on every play Monday night.
The Cowboys linebacker finished with 13 tackles, two tackles for loss, a sack and a quarterback hit in Dallas’ 19-16 victory over Washington.
It’s the type of game the Cowboys need from Lee, who is in a play-making position as the weakside linebacker in Rod Marinelli’s Tampa 2 defense.
“He gets better and better and better,” coach Jason Garrett said Tuesday. “I thought his performance last night was him at his best. I think if you look at the plays he made, he made so many different kinds of plays. He sacked the quarterback, he pressured the quarterback, and he made plays sideline to sideline, tackles for loss, plays right at him.
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“He was just outstanding in this game.”
One particular play that Lee made garnered extra praise from Garrett. Early in the fourth quarter, the Redskins had a third-and-five play in which quarterback Kirk Cousins faked a handoff and threw a quick screen to Jamison Crowder.
Lee read it perfectly and made the tackle, forcing the Redskins to kick a field goal on a play that very well could have ended up as a touchdown.
“He reacts to the fake and then somehow, some way gets himself back over towards where the ball is,” Garrett said. “If he doesn’t make that tackle, it’s going to be a really good play for them.
“He’s got a great instinct and feel for the game.”
Along with Lee, the entire Cowboys defense had an impressive game. They held the Redskins to 266 total yards of offense, including 193 passing yards and 73 rushing.
Washington was forced to punt on their first five drives, and managed only three field goals and one touchdown over their 12 drives throughout the game. The only thing missing by the Cowboys’ defense was a takeaway, as the lone Redskins turnover came on a punt return.
“We played well,” Lee said of the defense after the game. “We’re still looking for those turnovers though. I think if we can continue to take another step and [keep] getting better and better, get a couple more turnovers, I think we can continue to win.”