NFL

Bill Belichick heaps praise on Cowboys LB Sean Lee

Aug 25, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee (50) on the line of scrimmage during the second quarter against the St Louis Rams at Cowboys Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Aug 25, 2012; Arlington, TX, USA; Dallas Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee (50) on the line of scrimmage during the second quarter against the St Louis Rams at Cowboys Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

One of the Dallas Cowboys' biggest additions this season was linebacker Sean Lee. Of course, he's been with the team since 2010, but he missed all of last season with a knee injury.

Lee is a leader on the Cowboys' defense and is one of the top linebackers in the league when healthy, it's just been tough for him to stay on the field.

He's currently dealing with a concussion and isn't certain to play against the New England Patriots on Sunday, though executive vice president Stephen Jones believes he will.

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As with any other player the Patriots face, Bill Belichick is familiar with Lee's game -- and he's impressed.

"Really, Sean is probably one of the most instinctive linebackers in the league, maybe as instinctive as probably anybody I could think of," Belichick said via WEEI. "He'€™s got a great nose for the ball, has a good anticipation in both the running game and the passing game, shows up in the right place at the right time, just really knows what'€™s happening a lot of times before it occurs. ... He'€™s got 12 career interceptions. That'€™s a lot for a linebacker, especially given the number of games he'€™s played."

Belichick raved about Lee's end zone interception against the Philadelphia Eagles, calling it "one of the best plays you'll see."

While Belichick knows Lee as the Cowboys' linebacker, he's been familiar with him for much longer.

"He'€™s a kid that came up and visited us when I was in Cleveland, [he was in]€“ Pittsburgh, I remember him when he was just a little guy," Belichick said. "He'€™s a heck of a football player, really smart, really instinctive and very productive. He'€™s a Pittsburgh guy, friend of a friend kind of thing. He came out to practices a couple times. He wasn'€™t the star that he is now."

Lee is certainly a star, and the Cowboys will need him on the field Sunday against Tom Brady and the Patriots. Not only is he a big time playmaker in the middle of the defense, but he's a signal caller and ensures everyone's in their proper spots. It's something the Cowboys could have used on the last play of their loss to the New Orleans Saints.

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