SATURDAY, 11:00am: The Cowboys have placed Dunbar on the injured reserve, tweets Todd Archer of ESPN.com (via Twitter).
MONDAY, 6:56pm: Cowboys running back Lance Dunbar will undergo surgery to repair a torn ACL in his left knee, head coach Jason Garrett told reporters, including Todd Archer of ESPN.com. The surgery, of course, will end Dunbar’s season at the quarter-mark.
Dunbar, 25, has been a key part of the Dallas offense through the first month of the season, establishing a new career high already in receptions (21). He racked up 54 yards on the ground on just three carries before leaving Sunday’s game against the Saints.
While DeMarco Murray‘s departure opened the door for Dunbar to get a little more playing time, his receiving ability out of the backfield would have helped him carve out a role even if Murray had re-signed with the Cowboys in the offseason.
Dallas still has Joseph Randle and Darren McFadden in-house and Christine Michael could take on a larger role, so there’s no guarantee that they’ll look out-of-house for a running back. Dallas also has running back Gus Johnson on the practice squad and he could be promoted to the 53-man roster for additional depth, if needed.