By Clarence E. Hill Jr.
Irving _ The Cowboys suffered a devastating setback on Tuesday when magnetic resonance imaging results showed ligament damage in linebacker Sean Lee's sprained big toe.
According to a high-level Cowboys source, he will require surgery and will miss rest of the season.
Lee was the team's leading tackler with 77 stops this season. He also had two tackles for loss, eight pass deflections, a forced fumble and one interception.
The second leading tackler on the team was linebacker DeMarcus Ware with 43 stops.
But equally as important, Lee was the team's vocal leader on the field, which won't be easily replaced.
Veteran Dan Connor will start in his place against the Giants Sunday. He stepped in for Lee against the Panthers last Sunday, recording two tackles and a pass deflection in the red zone.
Connor said playing Lee's weakside position was an adjustment for him but he will be ready with a little more practice.
“I’ve mostly been the middle (linebacker) wherever I’ve been, so it’s a little adjustment,” Connor said. “That’s how the NFL goes. It’s a long season. Guys aren’t usually able to stay healthy the whole time. It’s about getting a role, taking advantage of your role and always being prepared to go in there. Watching Sean, … that helped me step in and make some plays and feel comfortable out there.”
Lee came to the Cowboys with injury concerns out of Penn State in 2010. He missed one game as a rookie and two games last year due to injuries.