Justin Durant season over; future uncertain

IRVING, Texas -- Dallas Cowboys linebacker Justin Durant underwent season-ending surgery Thursday to repair a significant tear in his right biceps.

Durant, the Cowboys' leading tackler, thought about avoiding surgery with the goal of returning in December, but the team's medical staff said it wouldn't heal in enough time.

"I wasn’t going to be effective," Durant said. "And the way that I play, it was going to be impossible for me to play with the type of tear that I have. The trainers talked to me about it and we decided that was the best thing to do."

Durant wanted to get the surgery done as quickly as possible so he could start the rehabilitation process. What makes the injury even more difficult is the uncertain future for Durant.

He becomes a free agent after the season and there's no guarantees the Cowboys will bring him back.

"I’ll just leave that up to people in front offices to decide, let my agent handle everything that comes with free agency," Durant said of his future. "I just play."

The team likes rookie Anthony Hitchens, who most likely will see time at the weakside and middle linebacker spots, and even Durant has praised him.

"He has all the ability and he has young legs," Durant said. "He’s going to be a force once he gets a little more experience. We all get better with experience. The more and more he’s out there the better he’s going to be, so I have full confidence in him. I’m definitely going to be here as much as I can to help him out."

As far as his own future, the 29-year old Durant was unsure. Health has been an issue for him since he signed a two-year deal with the Cowboys in 2013. He played in 10 games last season before he was placed on season-ending injured reserve.

He was off to a solid start this season, and received one of the highest production grades given to a linebacker this season at 37. Normally a player might receive an 18 or something in the 20s as an example of a high grade.

"I just want to play," he said. "I’m just sad right now but I know that guys are going to step up and we’re going to be alright."