Ismail Lost for the Season

Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Rocket Ismail is expected to be out for the season because of a neck injury suffered last Wednesday during practice in the Alamodome. Ismail was injured when he took a hit last Wednesday from Dat Nguyen. "They said he could play again, but he's out for this year," owner Jerry Jones said.

Ismail caught a pass from quarterback Quincy Carter in the right flat, faked a defender to the outside and cut back toward the middle. As Ismail turned his head to look upfield, Nguyen ran into him.

Tests have shown that he will need surgery for the injury, which is expected to happen Wednesday of this week. The Cowboys are expected to place him on injured reserve for the rest of the season.

Rookie wide receiver Antonio Bryant appears to be the most likely candidate to replace Ismail in the starting line up. Bryant has shown the playmaking ability that the Cowboys' offense so desperately needs during the last two weeks of training camp, and he appears to be ready for the challenge.

Ismail was the leading receiver for the Cowboys last season with 53 catches for 824 yards and two touchdowns. Unfortunately, Ismail has been bitten with the injury bug throughout his career.

He suffered a sprained MCL just a year ago in his right knee which ultimately forced him to miss two games. In 2000, he tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee and missed the seven games.

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