Dallas Cowboys linebacker Anthony Hitchens was supposed to be the difference maker with linebacker Sean Lee injured.
The Cowboys’ defense always suffers when Lee goes out, but this time a healthy Hitchens was supposed to be able to help keep the ship afloat while Lee recovers.
Hitchens went down on Sunday against the Philadelphia Eagles with a groin injury, and did not return to the game. Lee is currently nursing a hamstring injury that he aggravated Week 10 against the Atlanta Falcons. That injury kept him out of two games earlier in the season.
Coming off of their bye week, the Cowboys could not have looked better. They defeated the San Francisco 49ers, Washington Redskins and Kansas City Chiefs by multiple possessions.
Then left tackle Tyron Smith went down with a groin injury, and running back Ezekiel Elliott had to begin serving his six-game suspension for violating the league’s personal conduct policy.
Following the loss of two of their first-team All-Pro performers, the Cowboys have lost 27-7 to the Falcons, and 33-8 to the Eagles.
The 5-5 Cowboys are already in danger of missing the playoffs. If Lee, Hitchens and Smith all can’t play against the Los Angeles Chargers on a quick turnaround, the Cowboys’ season may be over before desert on Thanksgiving day.