Well, if nothing else positive can be said for the Dallas Cowboys’ 2011 season, we can say this with confidence: This season, Dallas discovered they’d scored a mighty fine linebacker in the second round of the 2010 draft, in Sean Lee--or, as they said at the time of the draft, that Lee is a first round talent.
In a season that saw a disappointing showing from Rob Ryan’s newly installed defense--it wasn’t necessarily terrible, but certainly not good either, finishing 14th in the league in total defense and 17th in points allowed--Lee flourished, leading the team in tackles and tying for the lead in interceptions with four. And perhaps more importantly, he looked to be one of the few players on that side of the ball who wasn’t altogether confused at times--this from a second-year guy.
While far from attributing the defense’s struggles entirely to the lockout last summer, Lee does believe that the unit will be helped by an unfettered offseason in which they’re permitted to have contact with their defensive coordinator.
"We can do it right now. We can really build a base of knowledge of defense instead of kind of doing it on the fly, jumping in and trying to figure out what we do well, trying to learn a whole new defense," Lee said, per the Dallas Morning News. "Now we know going into the preseason and into training camp what we're going to do and we'll have everything locked in so we're able to start and have a lot better background."
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