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Dallas Cowboys' Sean Lee out for year with toe injury

Dallas Cowboys standout linebacker Sean Lee is facing the prospect of season-ending surgery on his right big toe, NFL.com and NFL Network reporter Ian Rapoport reported Tuesday night.

Lee injured his toe in the third quarter of Dallas' 19-14 win over the Carolina Panthers on Sunday. He was seen on crutches the next day, though he told the The Dallas Morning News he thought he'd "be ready to roll" against the New York Giants in Week 8.

An MRI on Tuesday revealed Lee suffered a plantar plate injury, which is essentially a severe case of turf toe. A specialist was still determining Wednesday if season-ending surgery was neccesary. The 26-year-old plans to seek a second opinion before surgery, reports NFL.com and NFL Network's Albert Breer, but both team and player are doubtful it will change anything.

Lee's agent, Mike McCartney, said the expected surgery would take place in the next two weeks and that Lee should make a full recovery. He could be fully healed by February.

"He's really crushed," McCartney said. "But now, it's about helping his fellow linebackers. He's still part of the team."

Lee's loss is a devastating blow to the Cowboys' defense. He had 58 tackles and an interception on the season and is the Cowboys' defensive signal caller. He's an impact player with a nose for the football, and was a dominating presence against the Panthers before his injury.

Dan Connor is in line to start for Lee on Sunday.

UPDATE: Lee was placed on injured reserve by the Cowboys on Wednesday.

Follow Dan Hanzus on Twitter @danhanzus.

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