Dallas linebacker Sean Lee tackles Chicago running back Michael Bush. (Ron T. Ennis / MCT )
Dallas Cowboys linebacker Sean Lee needs surgery to repair torn ligaments in his right big toe and will miss the rest of the season.
Lee was put on season-ending injured reserve Wednesday morning, according to Nick Eatman of DallasCowboys.com.
The third-year player hurt his toe during the second half of Sunday's 19-14 win over the Carolina Panthers. He initially stayed in the game but eventually left and said later that he was "hurting the team by being out there."
Reports about the extent of Lee's injury started surfacing Tuesday, but it was the Cowboys' day off, so there were no news conferences or open locker room period. Also, team owner Jerry Jones did not have his regular weekly radio show due to the death of his mother earlier in the day.
The timing couldn't be worse for the Cowboys to lose Lee and his 9.7 tackles a game. The team trails the New York Giants by 1 1/2 games in the NFC East, and guess who is coming to town Sunday? That showdown will be followed by a trip to Atlanta to face the undefeated Falcons.
Dan Connor, who joined the Cowboys during the off-season after four years with the Panthers, is expected to take over for Lee.
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