Colombo out for year with broken fibula


GREEN BAY, Wisc. -- Dallas Cowboys right tackle Marc Colombo will miss the rest of the season after breaking his left fibula during Sunday's 17-7 loss to the Green Bay Packers.

Colombo was injured when Packers defensive end Johnny Jolly inadvertently rolled into his lower leg on a running play in the first quarter. Colombo will undergo surgery Monday to repair the leg.

"That's tough," Cowboys tight end Jason Witten said. "He's so much more than just a right tackle. He fights his butt off. He's the centerpiece of that offensive line, making calls, a stand-up guy and just plays his heart out. It's tough to replace a guy like that."

Doug Free, a fourth-round pick in 2007, replaced Colombo. Free, who was drafted as a left tackle, has never started a game.

A serious knee injury derailed Colombo's career after the Chicago Bears drafted him in the first round in 2002. He missed the entire 2003 season and most of 2004 while rehabilitating after suffering a dislocated left patella and femoral nerve damage. The Cowboys signed Colombo after the Bears released him in 2005. He had started every game since winning a training camp battle in 2006.

"He's been a staple over there for a while now, and that's going to be very tough," Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo said. "He's been playing there for a long time, he's been playing at a high level. We're going to have to all take it upon ourselves to step up and play a little bit better."

In other injury news, Cowboys free safety Ken Hamlin suffered a high ankle sprain in the loss to the Packers. Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones said he was optimistic that Hamlin would not be sidelined for an extended period. Cornerback Mike Jenkins missed most of the fourth quarter with a bruised right arm but said the injury shouldn't be a problem for next week's game against the Washington Redskins.

Tim MacMahon covers the Dallas Cowboys for ESPNDallas.com. E-mail him at tim.macmahon@espn3.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.