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September 16, 2012

Cowboys expect Golden Tate to be fined for what they deem an illegal block on Sean Lee

Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee downplayed the block by Seahawks receiver Golden Tate that briefly sent Lee to the sideline. Though the Dallas sideline wasn’t happy about it, arguing it should have drawn a penalty and likely will bring Tate a fine, they couldn’t stop the Seahawks’ celebration.

“That’s part of the deal,” Lee said. “He can celebrate all he wants. I bet if we went head to head and square up, he probably wouldn’t be celebrating as much. That’s part of the deal. It’s part of football. Hits like that happen.”

The Seahawks were up 20-7 early in the fourth quarter when rookie quarterback Russell Wilson was flushed from the pocket. As Lee ran toward Wilson, Tate blindsided him with a vicious block that repeatedly was shown on the replay board.

The Cowboys were sure the flag on the field was for a hit on a “defenseless player.” Mike Pereira, the NFL’s former director of officiating who now works for Fox, agreed Tate should have been penalized.

“I was looking for an explanation on why that wasn’t called as a defenseless player as that is something the league is trying to guard against and is a pretty good example of what that was,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said.

Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said he expects Tate to be fined by the league this week.

Tate celebrated the hit, which knocked the wind out of Lee. Lee returned after sitting out a couple of plays to go through the league's concussion protocol.

"Man, it felt great," Tate said afterward. "That felt better than a touchdown to me."

Tate admitted he was unsure if the flag on the field was on him.

"I knew that I didn't hit him in his helmet," Tate said. "I knew that I hit him somewhere in his mid-section. But the rules change so much that you never know if it's a rule this year or not. I'm happy that it wasn't."

To add insult to injury, Cowboys linebacker Bruce Carter was flagged for a hit out of bounds on Wilson. Pereira argued that was a bad call by the replacement officials, too. Eight plays later, the Seahawks iced the game with a 3-yard Lynch touchdown run.

-- Charean Williams

Twitter: @NFLCharean



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Tate hit him with his arms forward, there was no helmet to helmet contact. Lee was watching the runner to his left. Tate was downfield of Lee. Lee was looking left and got hit by someone in front of him. It was not a blindside hit. Lee needs to be aware of the game around him. Absolutely clean hit.

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