Dal­las Cow­boys

USA TODAY Sports Weekly - - NFC EAST -

The Dal­las de­fense took a big hit when MLB An­thony Hitch

ens went down with a se­ri­ous knee in­jury dur­ing a vic­tory against the Oak­land Raiders.

He will miss eight weeks with a tib­ial plateau frac­ture, the Fort

Worth Star-Tele­gram re­ported. He started ev­ery game in 2016 and has recorded 100 or more tack­les in two of his three NFL sea­sons. The Cow­boys could plug Jay

lon Smith into his spot. The for­mer Notre Dame star, mak­ing a come­back af­ter miss­ing last sea­son with a se­vere knee in­jury, has been in on three tack­les this pre­sea­son, but he has played fewer than 30 snaps and is be­ing eased back into a full work­load.

More likely, Smith and vet­eran backup Justin Du­rant will split time in the mid­dle or Pro Bowl WLB Sean Lee could move back to his old po­si­tion. Rookie watch: DE Taco Charl­ton picked up his sec­ond sack and un­veiled a new cel­e­bra­tion. The first-round choice mimed mak­ing tacos and hand­ing them to team­mates, who acted like they were tak­ing bites. … Un­drafted WR Lance Lenoir out­ran the cov­er­age on a 44-yard touch­down pass from QB Cooper

Rush, an­other un­drafted rookie hav­ing a strong camp. Lenoir also han­dled five punts and two kick­offs. Note­wor­thy: RB Ezekiel El­liott rushed six times for 18 yards with a long run of 5 yards and caught two passes for 6 yards. He was sched­uled to ap­pear in New York on Aug. 29 to ap­peal his six-game sus­pen­sion. … Chaz

Green, the front-run­ner to start at left guard, left with an an­kle in­jury. … La’el Collins, mak­ing the switch from left guard to right tackle, drew two flags for il­le­gal hands to the face and a hold­ing penalty.

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