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IRVING Cowboys running back Lance Dunbar sprained his foot Monday, putting his availability for the regular season opener against the Giants in jeopardy.

Head coach Jason Garrett says he's not exactly sure when the injury occurred or just how long Dunbar will be out.

"He's playing really well," said Garrett. "He's done a nice job for us in all phases as a runner, a receiver, and a pass protector. He's showing up on special teams and hopefully this is just a mild set-back for him."

The North Texas grad had a fantastic training camp and has carved out a niche for himself in the Cowboys offense. He showed his explosiveness when he turned a short pass into a 47 yard gain before fumbling in the second quarter of the Cowboys preseason game against the Cardinals Saturday.

Dunbar gained 75 yards on 21 carries last season, but he has continued to over-achieve and has won the favor of the coaching staff.

Quarterback Tony Romo has said Dunbar will have some special packages built around him this season. He's shown that he can provide a big impact despite his small size.

"When you watch Dunbar play, you immediately say he looks small and he can only do these sorts of things," says Garrett. "I think what he's proven to us is that he can do a lot more than that. He's probably stronger and more explosive than people give him credit for, and he's shown that he can do a lot of different things."

Email: jtrahan@wfaa.com

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