FLOWERY BRANCH — Outside linebacker Sean Weatherspoon, one of the leaders of the Atlanta Falcons' defense, will miss Sunday night's game against the Dallas Cowboys with a right ankle injury.
Weatherspoon, second on the team in tackles and sacks, injured the ankle in Sunday's 30-17 win at Philadelphia.
Coach Mike Smith said after Thursday's practice Weatherspoon and receiver Kevin Cone, who has a groin injury, will miss the game.
The loss of Weatherspoon, a first-round pick in 2010, is a significant blow to the NFL's only undefeated team.
He played on every snap on defense this season before the injury.
"Spoon is a hard guy to replace," said safety William Moore. "With Spoon being out this week, we're going to need for everybody to step up another notch. That's a big loss for our defense this week from a leadership standpoint."