Dallas Cowboys have been dealt a cruel blow ahead of their crucial playoff match-up with Detroit Lions this weekend.
The Wildcard Round Game will be a tight contest between two impressive teams and the Cowboys will need all of their stars playing to their full potential.
But rather than have an injury-free build up to their biggest game of the season, the Cowboys suffered a cruel blow on Tuesday when it was revealed that star defensive tackle Henry Melton has been placed on IR, according to reports.
Key player injured
The veteran tackle has been forced out for the rest of the season because of a bone bruise in his right knee. Melton suffered the injury in the Cowboys' defeat of Washington Redskins in Week 17.
Dallas already has an underwhelming pass rush, and this injury to Melton means that department of the Cowboys will be even more susceptible to a Lions' ground game that is improving week by week. Across the season so far, Melton was only second on the team with five sacks. The Cowboys may find it tough to replace that production on Sunday.
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Detroit will fancy their chances
Detroit running back Joique Bell will be licking his lips at the prospect of being able to run all over a Dallas defense that has held up well to this point, but has always been labelled as the weakest aspect of Cowboys.
Naturally, the Cowboys have not waited long to replace Melton on the roster, with linebacker James Anderson signed up.