The Dallas Cowboys face the daunting possibility they will be without inside linebacker Sean Lee for the remainder of the season.

Todd Archer of ESPN Dallas reports that the club fears Lee will require season-ending surgery on his right big toe after he suffered a sprain in the third quarter of Sunday’s victory at Carolina.

Lee was hobbled following the game and was on crutches earlier today when coach Jason Garrett did not offer an injury update on the standout defender. Archer reports a source said surgery could be required.

Lee currently leads the defense with 77 tackles. Dan Connor would likely be called on to replace Lee in the event he misses time. Lee had wrist surgery last season and missed the 2008 season at Penn State with a torn ACL. With some luck, maybe this injury will not be as bad as feared.

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Brad Biggs covers the Bears for the Chicago Tribune