Sean Lee was a revelation for the Cowboys in 2011, playing inside linebacker as well as anyone has since the team switched to the 3-4 scheme halfway through the 2000s.
He was everywhere, finishing with a team-credited 131 tackles, the most on the club, including eight stops for a loss, tied for first with Anthony Spencer.
In leading the team in overall tackles, Lee snapped Bradie James' streak of six consecutive seasons atop the Cowboys' tackling charts, a team record. Though the club did not begin keeping official tackles statistics until 1979, linebacker Bob Bruenig had led the Cowboys for five seasons, 1977-81.
Playing in a rotation next to Lee, James finished with 53 stops, while Keith Brooking had 72.
While Lee's 2011 season may have been as impactful as any James ever played, it still remains to be seen whether he can enjoy the longevity of the nine-year veteran, a 2003 draft pick who became a full-time starter in 2005. James had 109 tackles that year, the beginning of his streak, then 132 in 2006, 130 in 2007, a career-high 202 in 2008, 181 in 2009 and 163 in 2010.
With his contract expiring, James days with the Cowboys very well could be done, and a new generation has taken over in the middle of the team's 3-4.
Lee set the bar high for himself in 2011, but will he be able to reach it as long as James did?