Could Sean Lee's injury end his season?

November, 2, 2011
11/02/11
3:48
PM ET
Distressing news for Dallas Cowboys fans in the form of this report from ESPN's Adam Schefter, whose source tells him that "some doctors" believe Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee should have season-ending surgery on his dislocated wrist while "others believe he can cast the injury and play through it."
Lee has not made any decision yet. He and the Cowboys will continue consulting with doctors until they make a determination of what's best for the linebacker's future. The team hasn't officially ruled him out for Sunday's game.

It certainly sounds as though the Cowboys can't count on Lee this week, and it's possible he could miss many more weeks to come. If Lee does miss the remainder of the season, I believe that would be a serious enough loss to force a recalibration of every positive forecast for the Cowboys the rest of the way. The schedule favors them, and they played well enough in their first six games to make you think they could make a run. But Lee's performance in the middle of the defense was a critical element in its early success, and they looked lost without him against the Eagles.

Keith Brooking and Bradie James are the starting inside linebackers if Lee can't go, and it's possible they could find ways to start working rookie Bruce Carter into the mix. But Lee has been one of the best and most productive linebackers in the league this year, and his ball-hawking ways have allowed other elements of the Dallas defense to flourish around him. If he's out, they'll have to make a number of very serious adjustments to compensate for it, and they certainly weren't able to do so Sunday night.

Dan Graziano

ESPN New York Giants reporter

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