Cowboys' Hitchens out at least 8 weeks with knee fracture

FRISCO, Texas (AP) Dallas linebacker Anthony Hitchens broke a bone in his right knee in a preseason game against Oakland and is likely to miss at least eight weeks.

The Cowboys feared the injury was worse after Hitchens went to the ground clutching the knee in the final seconds of the second quarter in a 24-20 victory over the Raiders on Saturday night. The team said on its website Sunday that Hitchens sustained a tibial plateau fracture.

Although he won't miss the season, the loss of Hitchens is significant because of his ability to play multiple positions, and with the Cowboys bringing along second-year player Jaylon Smith slowly in his recovery from a devastating college knee injury.

Hitchens started all 16 games last season, his third, and had a career-high 104 tackles.

Justin Durant has been on the non-football injury list during camp after offseason elbow surgery but is a strong candidate to replace Hitchens as a starter.

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