Dallas Cowboys running back Lance Dunbar was playing the best football of his entire career yesterday against the Oakland Raiders, and he was having a big-time breakout game on Thanksgiving. Dunbar had racked up 82 rushing yards on just 12 carries with one reception for 12 yards to boot, and he looked exactly like the change-of-pace back to help spell feature back DeMarco Murray that the Cowboys were looking for. And then he left the game with a left knee injury in the fourth quarter.
The injury didn’t look bad at first glance, and it was initially ruled as a hyperextended knee. So I let my guard down, even though Dunbar needed to receive an MRI today. Still, I don’t think even the most pessimistic person could have predicted this, as ESPN’s Ed Werder reports that the Cowboys “fear” Lance Dunbar will need season-ending surgery based on what they found on the MRI.
There’s still hope that the Cowboys are just paranoid and that this “fear” isn’t realized, but this sort of news usually ends up being true. Either way, it’s awful news- and luck- for Dunbar, but I bet he’s asserted himself as a legitimate No. 2 back in the Cowboys offense and will help out the Cowboys greatly next year if he is indeed done for the year. Werder reports that his rehab timeline is expected to be three months, which would be great news (the timeline could be much worse, as three months won’t even cut into OTAs).
Keep a close eye on all updates regarding Dunbar’s injury, and it’s too bad that the Cowboys might not have their resurgent back helping out the offense in their quest for the playoffs.