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We were all treated to vintage Sean Lee against the New York Giants

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The General returned on Monday night, playing a key role in the Cowboys victory.

Dallas Cowboys v New York Giants Photo by Elsa/Getty Images

Things got a little tricky before the Dallas Cowboys started their game against the New York Giants when linebacker Leighton Vander Esch was officially ruled out of the contest. The second-year linebacker is one of the most important players on the defense so his absence wasn’t trivial. While it wasn’t exactly a surprise to see him on the inactives list, it did raise the need for a quality reserve to have a great game in the Wolf Hunter’s absence; thankfully the Cowboys have someone in Sean Lee who is quite familiar with working as a foundational linebacker for the team.

Monday night was one of Sean Lee’s finest hours

When was the last time that we saw this Sean Lee? It’s hard to recall. Cowboys fans everywhere have been so swept up in swiping and howling lately that Lee has been like Woody in the first Toy Story movie. Something new can always distract you from the classics.

Dallas was able to bring Lee back this season after he took a pay cut and a lot of people questioned that move. Lee wanted to be part of what the Cowboys have going on, though, and on Monday night his services were needed. He more than delivered.

Sean Lee has always been one of the better instinctive players in recent memory. That was on full display as he took on one of the game’s better running backs in Saquon Barkley.

This was all the materialization of what was literally the best possible result in keeping Sean Lee around. Obviously, any scenario that involves Leighton Vander Esch being hurt is not ideal, but the Cowboys finally found a way to protect themselves in terms of what LVE represents.

For years we’ve watched this defense fall apart when their star linebacker has gone down with injury, ironically it was the same guy who they called upon on Monday night. When Sean Lee went down all those moons ago, you could kiss any thought of winning the game goodbye.

Having a linebacker with the instincts of Sean Lee as a smash-glass-in-case-of-emergency option that is a luxury in a world of luxuries. It speaks to the depth of this roster that we’ve been talking about forever now and it was on full display at MetLife Stadium.