Report: Cowboys fear starting LB Anthony Hitchens lost for season with knee injury

Dallas Cowboys linebacker Anthony Hitchens suffered one of the most devastating NFL injuries heading into 2017

The Dallas Cowboys, already thin on defense, fear they have lost starting inside linebacker Anthony Hitchens for the season with a knee injury.

Hitchens was injured Saturday in Dallas as the Cowboys hosted the Oakland Raiders. He couldn’t put any weight on his injured leg and had to be helped to the locker room.

This is a huge blow to Dallas’ front seven, which already opens the season without pass rusher David Irving, who is suspended four games for PEDs.

Since being drafted out of Iowa in the fourth round in 2014, Hitchens has appeared in 48 games for Dallas, starting 36. He was a full-time starter last year, tallying 78 combined tackles and 1.5 sacks. This injury puts pressure on Dallas to push second-year linebacker Jaylon Smith into the starting lineup right out of the gate.