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Suddenly, Lions players are making headlines for cheap shots that happened before they were in Detroit.

Cowboys safety Barry Church said on a radio show in Dallas he would seek payback on Lions wide receiver Golden Tate for an illegal — and devastating — blindside block he used on Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee in 2012 when Tate was with the Seattle Seahawks.

"That was the dirtiest shot I've ever seen," Church said Wednesday on 105.3 FM The Fan in Dallas, via ESPN.com. "We were talking about it on the way back from Washington, me and Sean. He was just like, 'Man, I wish I could play so bad in this game just to give a little payback for what he did in Seattle.'"

Lee won't play Sunday because he's on injured reserve after tearing his anterior cruciate ligament in organized team activities in May.

"Obviously he can't play, but we're definitely going to keep our radar out for (Tate) because that was a dirty shot," Church. "We're looking forward to seeing him. We'll definitely get him back after that, but it will be within the rules, within the rules."

The NFL fined Tate $21,000 for the illegal hit, which occurred while he was blocking for quarterback Russell Wilson on a scramble. Tate popped an unassuming Lee by laying his helmet into Lee's chest and neck area and then celebrated by flexing his biceps.

Church also commented on Lions defensive tackle Ndamukong Suh stepping on Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers Sunday, a maneuver that initially drew a one-game suspension that was later reduced to a $70,000 fine on appeal.

"Yeah, you're trying to deliver a painful blow, as legal as possible -- but when the guy is down and you're stepping on people ..." Church said. "And like you said, he had a track record of that, stepping on people when they're down. That's uncalled for. We don't need that in our game. But hey, I guess if you can pay the money, you can play."

jkatzenstein@detroitnews.com

twitter.com/jkatzenstein

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