Dallas Cowboys fans have been waiting all year for running back Lance Dunbar to make an impact on this team. After a strong, but limited showing during the preseason, the diminutive second-year undrafted free agent out of North Texas was poised for a breakout season earning the primary back-up role behind starting running back DeMarco Murray. Unfortunately, the season didn’t unfold the way fans or Dunbar had hoped and has now prematurely ended due to injury, according to NFL.com.
Dunbar started the season in the doghouse after an early fumble in Week Two against the Kansas City Chiefs limited his snaps considerably. When starter DeMarco Murray suffered an MCL injury at mid-season, Dunbar was also struggling with a hamstring injury. Rookie running back Joseph Randle was than called to duty and performed admirably, but not spectacularly. It wasn’t until this Thursday’s Thanksgiving Day matchup against the Oakland Raiders that Dunbar actually get a real chance to shine.
Dunbar carried the ball twelve times and rushed for 82 yards in the Holiday game. He showed off his great quickness to a national audience during a 45 yard scamper through the middle of the Raiders defense. But near the end of the fourth quarter, Dunbar suffered the injury that will now end his season just as it was starting to take-off.
Dunbar had an MRI on Friday that revealed a torn “posterior lateral corner”. The surgery to correct the issue will take three months to rehab, eliminating any chance Dunbar had to return during the playoffs.
Randle and Phillip Tanner now fill the depth chart behind Murray at running back for the Cowboys. But this is not Dunbar’s final chance in Dallas as he should return next season as he is under contract with the team until 2015.