IRVING, Texas - As expected, Cowboys linebacker Dan Connor has a strained neck and minor shoulder injury that will likely make his status for Sunday's game with the Falcons uncertain.
Connor had an MRI on Monday and the results showed stretching of the nerves inside the neck, which is simply a "stinger," an injury that has often been a nagging week-to-week setback for other players.
Connor was expected to be the full-time replacement for Sean Lee, who is expected to have season-ending surgery Tuesday to repair ligaments on his right big toe.
While Connor started the game Sunday against the Giants and was part of a forced fumble on Giants running back Ahmad Bradshaw. But it was that play that re-aggravated the neck strain that had bothered Connor earlier in the week.
He left the game in the second quarter and didn't return, replaced by Orie Lemon in the base defense. The Cowboys went to a nickel defense at times where newly-acquired veteran Ernie Sims did a fine job in his Dallas debut.
Connor and Sims only played 10 snaps each, while Lemon had 23 plays. Linebacker Bruce Carter played all of the Cowboys' 60 plays on defense.
This week against the undefeated Falcons, it will be another stiff challenge for the Cowboys, who not only have to attain Matt Ryan and his lethal passing attack of receivers Roddy White and Julio Jones, but arguably the best pass-catching tight end in NFL history in Tony Gonzalez.