By Mike Fisher, 105.3 The Fan | CBSDFW.COM
Lance Dunbar #25 of the Dallas Cowboys (credit:  Elsa/Getty Images)

Lance Dunbar #25 of the Dallas Cowboys (credit: Elsa/Getty Images)

IRVING (105.3 THE FAN) –  On Thursday, the Dallas Cowboys found a long-sought-after spark to their running game. On Friday, the spark was lost.

Backup running back Lance Dunbar, who exploded onto the scene in the 31-24 Thanksgiving Day win over the Raiders with a career-best 12 carries, a career-best 82 rushing yards and a career-best 45-yard burst, is now likely out for the season with a knee injury that will require surgery.

DeMarco Murray is Dallas’ top back, and he scored three touchdowns in the game – something that a Cowboys runner hasn’t done in six years. But Dunbar’s work in reserve was just as special – until he was struck on the knee by an onrushing Oakland defender in the final quarter.

Following the game, owner Jerry Jones and coach Jason Garrett said hopefully that the injury was nothing more than a hyper-extended left knee and that the 10-day break before the next game at Chicago on Dec. 9 would aid his recovery.

Dunbar was equally optimistic at the time, saying, “It’s feeling better right now … I’m pretty tough. I’ll fight through it.”

But now it seems there will be no 2013 recovery for the former University of North Texas runner, who’s snaps will now go to rookie Joseph Randle or fellow UNT product Phillip Tanner.

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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