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Cowboys Sean Lee Named NFC Defensive Player Of The Month For October

The Cowboys defense might be suffering mightily in 2013... but imagine where it would be without Sean Lee.

Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports

When Alexander Bell invented the telephone, he had three missed calls from Sean Lee.

Sean Lee has a grizzly bear carpet in his room. The bear isn't dead, it's just afraid to move.

Some magicians can walk on water. Sean Lee can swim through land.

Sean Lee and Superman once had a bet. The loser had to wear his underwear on the outside of his pants.

If you're a longtime reader of BTB, more importantly a follower of the @BloggingTheBoys twitter account, you know that I took to calling Sean Lee "Chuck Norris". Lee's abilities to diagnose a play, and react quicker than the offense running it has been something I've been in awe of for a while, like many Cowboys fans. His recent play has been something even better than advertised, and today the NFL awarded him his second NFC Defensive Player of the Month.

Here's Lee's stats over the four games of October:

Opponent Solo Tackle Assists Stops TFLs INTs Pass Defensed QB Hits
Denver 11 5 4 1 0 0 0
Washington 6 4 8 0 1 1
Philly 9 2 5 1 1 1 0
Detroit 7 3 5 0 2 2 0
October 33 14 22 2 3 4 1

If you're unfamiliar, "Stops" are plays where you keep the offense from gaining the yardage necessary to consider the play as successful. A stop means keeping them from gaining 40% of the necessary yardage on first down, 60% of the necessary yardage on second, and 100% of the necessary yardage on third or fourth down. Basically, Lee averaged more than 5 a game for the month of October.

Lee won the NFC Player of the Week honor last week for his performance against Philly. He probably was the leading candidate after this past weekend's game, but the league ended up giving the award to the Giant's Terrell Thomas. Regardless, Lee is staking his claim as the league's best interior linebacker.

According to Advanced NFL Stats, Sean Lee has the league's second best "WPA" metric, or Win Probability Added to his team, for linebackers in 2013. Basically, Lee's individual plays contribute to his team's chances of winning more than every other linebacker than Buffalo's Kiko Alonso. He also ranks second to Alonso (the leading candidate for Rookie of the Year) in EPA, or Expected Points Added, which measures the impact of individual plays on scoring in the game.

Currently, Lee ranks third amongst all inside linebackers per ProFootballFocus' game grading system, with a +8.5 cumulative score on the season.

The award further illustrates the conundrum that is the Dallas defense. Several players are having standout years, but the defense as a whole is struggling to prevent opposing offenses from moving the ball at will. Jason Hatcher probably deserves as much recognition as Sean Lee does for his stellar campaign, and prior to the Lions game, one could have lauded Brandon Carr as having the best stretch of his career. Still, Dallas has allowed four 400-yard passers in just eight games and is on pace to shatter every negative defensive passing stat this season unless something gets corrected.

Regardless, Sean Lee is a monster and well-deserving of the contract extension the club signed him to over the summer.

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