In their ongoing effort to make you say "huh," the film analysis and math addicts over at ProFootballFocus.com have been rolling out their "Secret Superstar" for all 32 teams in the last few weeks.
Finally this week, it was the Cowboys' turn, and their unknown gem is . . . third-year pro Sean Lissemore.
PFF gave Lissemore the third-highest overall grade of anyone on the Cowboys defense, and named him the team's best run-stopper. He had a higher percentage of stops against the run than any 3-4 end in the league, by their count.
The Cowboys have expressed some regret in not getting Lissemore on the field any more than they did in 2011 (PFF counted only 283 snaps), and he could challenge for a lot more playing time this year.
Lissemore's rise has been ideal for a seventh-round pick, particularly one who defensive coordinator Rob Ryan admits he wasn't moved by when evaluating film of his 2010 rookie season.
"Sean is doing a great job," Ryan said. "(Defensive line coach) Brian Baker has really brought him a long way from when I first got here. I watched the tape, and he wasn't that impressive the year before. And then he clearly, in my opinion, beat out the incumbent, (Igor) Olshansky, and so we went in that direction, might've turned some heads doing that. But he's improved, and has done an excellent job and he's a real player."
Lissemore has been out of Organized Team Activities the last couple weeks while healing from some rib cartilage damage.