Marcus Spears' sprained knee will sideline him a while

The Dallas Cowboys could be forced to begin the regular season without defensive end Marcus Spears.

The veteran is sidelined with a sprained MCL in his left knee and according to Todd Archer of the Dallas Morning News, it’s a Grade 2 tear of the ligament, but one that will not require surgery. That’s the good news.

The bad news is that his potential replacement, Jason Hatcher, has been slowed down by a hyperextended elbow. Spears has not missed a game in his career and he could return for the Sept. 12 opener with Washington.

Hatcher has primarily been used as a pass-rushing specialist and has never started, but Archer reports that he has improved vs. the run. Dallas is hoping Spears’ knee will improve in quick order.

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