FRISCO, Texas — The Dallas Cowboys lost a starter to a season-ending injury Sunday night.
Seventh-year cornerback Anthony Brown tore his Achilles and will not return this season, head coach Mike McCarthy confirmed Monday.
Team owner and general manager Jerry Jones feared Sunday this was the case after Brown was carted off with 3:49 to play in the third quarter of Sunday night's victory against the Indianapolis Colts. Further testing Monday confirmed the diagnosis.
Brown is the second starting Cowboys cornerback to suffer a season-ending injury. Nickel cornerback Jourdan Lewis broke his right foot Oct. 23 and underwent subsequent season-ending injury.
Quarterback Dak Prescott, whom Dallas picked in the same 2016 draft as Brown, said the veteran was “taking it hard” in the postgame locker room.
“He’s a f***ing competitor,” Prescott said. “He’s a guy that has fought his f***ing ass off year in and year out to earn his respect, let alone his starting position and play time. And fights his ass off.
“I got in the locker room, then obviously went over there like I said, tried to just love on him. Saw he was taking it hard, told him I’m there for him, anything he needs. And yeah, I mean a guy, part of the draft class me, him and Zeke [Elliott] left, just know that as [safety] Jayron Kearse told him, it’s a part of it. It’s a part of playing in this game. It’s a part of his story. It’s part of the journey. It will make you stronger.”
Brown has played 94 games for the Cowboys since he was drafted in the sixth round in 2016, starting 69. He has combined for 324 tackles, 59 pass deflections, nine interceptions and 11 tackles for loss.
Brown had started all 12 of the Cowboys’ games in their 9-3 start this season, compiling 42 tackles, seven pass breakups and one forced fumble.
Cowboys defensive coordinator Dan Quinn pointed to second-year cornerback Kelvin Joseph, who replaced Brown on Sunday night, as the most experienced option to replace Brown. Second-year cornerback Nahshon Wright, who played 91 defensive snaps last year but only contributed on special teams so far this season, has been working with cornerbacks coach Al Harris to develop and is expected to contribute. Rookie DaRon Bland, who had two interceptions in the fourth quarter of the Cowboys’ 54-19 rout vs. the Colts on Sunday, has played nickel in relief of Lewis, but could move outside.
The Cowboys have cornerback Kendall Sheffield on the practice squad, and have worked with him at both inside and outside. They also take solace in how their safety depth can elevate the secondary with an impressive trio in physical Donovan Wilson, versatile Kearse and veteran Malik Hooker, who contributed an interception and fumble-recovery touchdown Sunday vs. his former team.
Jones said Sunday night he doesn’t expect an outside acquisition to meaningfully change the plan at corner.
“You’ll look, but no,” Jones said. “Those guys aren’t out there available when you lose one. They really aren’t. But we’re lucky to have that depth. You saw Bland come in and make some plays there tonight. But the one thing I think we’ve got is secondary depth.
“I think we have secondary depth.”
Follow Yahoo Sports’ Jori Epstein on Twitter @JoriEpstein