Report: Cowboys RB Lance Dunbar Out For The Season

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Probably no worse way to spend the day after your breakout game than to find out your season is cut short.

Welp, that didn't last long.

According to Cowboys insider and former scout Bryan Broaddus, Dallas running back Lance Dunbar has played the final snap of his 2013 season.

Dunbar was injured late in yesterday's contest, when Raiders cornerback Tracey Porter, previous allergic to contact during the game, knifed into the backfield and crashed into Dunbar's knee. LT Tyron Smith tried to get over to block Porter, who was blitzing from the slot, but was unable to get there in time. He missiled directly into Dunbar's left knee.

Dunbar was able to walk off the field on his own power but was limping noticeably. He and the team had hoped it was just a hyper-extension, but today's MRI revealed worse.

According to Broaddus, he's injured his PosteroLateral Corner of his knee. From Wikipedia:

Injuries to the PLC often occur in combination with other ligamentous injuries to the knee; most commonly the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and posterior cruciate ligament (PCL).[2] As with any injury, an in-depth understanding of the anatomy and functional interactions of the posterolateral corner is critical to diagnosing and treating injuries here.

So one shouldn't be surprised if in the coming days or weeks we learn that one of the more commonly known knee injuries is also associated with his ailment.

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Dunbar had been limited in action in 2013, but it appeared that the Cowboys were finally able to present a complement to lead back Demarco Murray in yesterday's game. Lance touched the ball on each of his season-high 13 snaps (12 runs, 1 pass) and forced four missed tackles on his way to 94 total yards.

The Cowboys didn't appear to trust him in pass protection, but as a change-of-pace runner, he appeared to be exactly what the offense needed. His previous injuries on the season thwarted what many thought was the usage plan Dallas had for him coming into the year.

Dunbar has long shown signs of his break-away ability, and just appeared in need of doing the other things necessary to earn more snaps in the offense.

Now it appears he will face a lengthy rehab just to get back to where he was. In the Not For Long league, that shot might not be waiting for him when he returns. The Cowboys will fill his role with fifth-round pick Joseph Randle and third-year man Phillip Tanner. Neither come close to embodying the shiftiness or quickness that Lance possessed and Dallas could have lost a key ingredient they planned on for the home stretch. One they might have to look at acquiring over the offseason.

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