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September 06, 2012

Lee calls defensive performance 'a step forward,' with plays it couldn't have made last year

Linebacker Sean Lee called the defensive performance “a step forward” and said the Cowboys pressured Giants quarterback Eli Manning “probably the best we’ve pressured him in a while.”

He said pass pressure is the reason the Cowboys were able to get off the field, holding the Giants to a 33 percent conversion rate on third down (4-for-12).

“It’s a step forward. And we need to play like this every week,” Lee said. “We still can be better. We gave up some throws that we shouldn’t give up. But it’s a step forward.”

Lee said the Cowboys made plays on defense that they could not have made last year. An example was the goal-line stand in which they forced the Giants to settle for a field goal.

“That’s something last year we couldn’t make,” he said. “We didn’t make those big plays last year. We did some good things last year, but that was a situation where we probably wouldn’t have made that last year. That’s something we’ve gotten better at. Big plays in big situations. We were able to stop them, and that’s the reason we won tonight.”

Lee led the Cowboys with 12 tackles and forced the first turnover of the game when he knocked the ball from rookie running back David Wilson.

“What did I see on the fumble? I saw a toss, I went and tried to hit him as hard as I could,” Lee said. “That was pretty much my plan, and it worked out.”

Lee said the Cowboys knew Wilson had a turnover history at Virginia Tech. Wilson did not carry after that.

“In any game, we want to put hits on the ball, we want to turn the ball over,” Lee said. “We definitely have the history of the running backs, and we definitely try to take advantage of situations if they’ve had issues in the past.”

-- Carlos Mendez

Twitter @calexmendez

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