Sean Lee made sure Cowboys shut down Shady

Sean Lee made sure Cowboys shut down Shady

Can the Eagles' running game recover against the Giants?

October 22, 2013, 6:00 am
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Sean Lee (right) and the Cowboys held LeSean McCoy to just 3.1 yards per rush on Sunday. (USA Today Images)

Oct. 30, 2011.

Sean Lee and the Cowboys visited Lincoln Financial Field and were dominated by the Eagles, 34-7, and decimated by LeSean McCoy.

McCoy ran for a career-high 185 yards on 30 carries and scored two touchdowns. A year later, the Cowboys returned to the Linc, held McCoy to 82 yards on 16 carries, and beat the Eagles by 15.

But Lee didn't play -- the Cowboys' middle linebacker was out for the season with a toe injury.

"I remember the last time I came up here, two years ago, he went for 180, and he ran all over us," Lee said Sunday after the Cowboys' 17-3 victory. "I knew that this guy is an unbelievable player and an extreme challenge. So all week during practice, we worked on finding a way to stop him, and I think we did that."

Sure did.

The Cowboys manhandled McCoy, who after rushing 18 times for 55 yards and no scores called it one of his "worst performances since being a rookie" (see story). His longest rush was 10 yards, his shortest single-game long of the season.

"We knew the first thing we wanted to do was shut him down," Lee said.

The Penn State product certainly did his part. Of the game-high 11 combined tackles (solo plus assists) Lee was credited with, five were on McCoy. On one play midway through the second quarter, he made a beeline to McCoy and threw him for a three-yard loss.

"[McCoy] makes a lot of people miss," Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett said. "I think setting the edges, and everybody getting to the football and tackling him -- and tackling him hard -- I thought that was the difference in the game."

Even as a receiver, Shady had nowhere to go. Late in the first quarter, he made a catch, somehow escaped several Cowboys -- and still lost seven yards. He finished with six receptions for 26 yards.

"We did a great job of rallying and tackling him," Lee said, "because he is one of the best players in the NFL."