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Cowboys CB Morris Claiborne facing surgery for sports hernia

FRISCO, Texas -- Dallas Cowboys cornerback Morris Claiborne is looking at a prolonged absence because of a sports hernia suffered in Sunday's overtime victory against the Philadelphia Eagles, according to sources.

Claiborne could need surgery to repair the injury, but it would not necessarily end his season. In 2008, cornerback Terence Newman had surgery for a similar injury and returned after six weeks.

Claiborne went down with 59 seconds left in regulation as he was turning to run on a play that ended in a sack of Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz. After the game, Claiborne was hopeful the injury was not too serious but said he never dealt with a groin injury before.

If the Cowboys place Claiborne on injured reserve, he would be eligible to return for the regular-season finale. Considering safety Barry Church suffered a fractured forearm, it would be difficult for the Cowboys to carry two injured members of their secondary on the 53-man roster.

Claiborne suffered a concussion Oct. 16 against the Green Bay Packers but was aided by the team's bye last week in being able to play Sunday against the Eagles.

Cornerback Orlando Scandrick returned Sunday after a month-long absence because of hamstring strains to both legs. He would move into a full-time role in Claiborne's absence opposite Brandon Carr.. The only other cornerback on the 53-man roster is rookie Anthony Brown, who replaced Claiborne as an outside corner against the Eagles with Scandrick working the slot.

Claiborne has missed games with concussion, hamstring, knee and ankle injuries over the years. He was having his best season in 2016, entering Sunday's game with 31 tackles, according to the coaches' breakdown, 2 tackles for loss, 1 interception, 4 pass deflections and 1 fumble recovery. Unofficially, he was credited with four tackles Sunday.

The Cowboys have two cornerbacks, Sammy Seamster and Leon McFadden, on the practice squad. McFadden joined the team last week.