The NFL’s best outside linebackers, No. 4: Sean Lee

The issue for Lee never has been what he could do on the field, but rather if he could stay there. Injuries repeatedly have disrupted Lee’s career—he missed 10 games in 2012 (toe), five in ’13 (hamstring/neck), all of ’14 (knee) and battled through multiple concussions and another hamstring issue last season. That background might make this too high a ranking for Lee, but he is such a dynamic defensive weapon when available. The Cowboys’ decision to move him from the middle to the weak side last season, in part to accommodate Ronaldo McClain, paid off in the form of a career-high 128 tackles. More than that (given how flawed the tackles statistic is), playing Lee outside helped keep him free to play a chase-and-tackle role as opposed to having to knock heads in the trenches. His coverage skills remained at an elite level, too.

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