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Who was that guy posing as Sean Lee in the Cowboys loss to Carolina?

That certainly couldn’t have been The General on the field.

Dallas Cowboys v Carolina Panthers Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

A curious thing happened during the Dallas Cowboys loss to the Carolina Panthers on Sunday. There was a linebacker on the field for Dallas wearing #50, but that was the only resemblance he had to the player we know as Sean Lee. It was almost as if an undrafted rookie had kidnapped Lee, stolen his uniform and made his way onto the field. All kidding aside, this might have been the worst game any Cowboys fan has seen Sean Lee play.

Before we go any further, let’s just state this - Sean Lee is a stud. He’s one of the best linebackers in the league. We don’t want to get things confused. Now that that is out of the way let’s speak plainly, Sean Lee had a horrendous night. He might have missed more tackles in this game than he has in his whole career combined. There were at least three times Lee has his hands on the ball carrier only to fail to bring him down. There were other times where he just whiffed. Like the time he read a swing pass to Christian McCaffrey and had him dead to rights in the backfield. Only McCaffrey easily lost him on his way to a long gain.

McCaffrey is no easy tackle in space, but it’s something Lee does routinely. Not on this night. Lee also had a lot of trouble reading the read-option from the Panthers, getting caught up inside in the wash, as Cam Newton casually scooted around the edge. Those were not always his assignment, but he’s the one usually covering for other people if they lose their assignment, tonight he just didn’t have his normal spidey senses.

For the game, he was the Cowboys seventh-leading tackler. Seventh! It’s rare that he ends up out of the top three, let alone that far down the totem pole. The Cowboys were fortunate that the rest of the defense held together, keeping the opposition to 16 points while getting very little help from their offense. Normally if Lee had a game like this, you would have thought the Cowboys would give up 40 points, but the Panthers aren’t exactly an offensive juggernaut.

Until proven otherwise, we can chalk this up to a blip on the radar, a one-time thing where Lee just wasn’t ready to play. Next week, we’d expect the General to be back to his sure-tackling, play-reading ways. For one night, though, we got to see what it would be like if drafting Sean Lee had actually been a bust pick. Thanks goodness it wasn’t.

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