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Cowboys’ Anthony Hitchens fined for unnecessary roughness

03 JAN 2016: Washington Redskins running back Alfred Morris (46) gets tackled by Dallas Cowboys middle linebacker Anthony Hitchens (59) during the game between the Dallas Cowboys and the Washington Redskins at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas. (Photo by Matthew Pearce/Icon Sportswire)
Matthew Pearce/Icon Sportswire

Dallas Cowboys linebacker Anthony Hitchens was fined $9,115 by the NFL for unnecessary roughness during the win over the Philadelphia Eagles on Sunday.

It is his first career fine in three years with the Cowboys.

Though the team came out with a win, his penalty didn’t make the comeback victory any easier. The penalty came after an incomplete pass from Carson Wentz to Jordan Matthews and brought the Eagles to the Cowboys 22-yard line. If not for the penalty, the Eagles would have had two plays to avoid attempting a long field instead. Instead, their lead was soon boosted to 20-10 and gave the Cowboys a quarter and a half to even the score rather than avoid overtime.

Hitchens finished the game with three tackles including one tackle for loss. On the season, he has 28 total tackles. The past two seasons as a part-time starter he averaged 75 tackles, three pass breakups, and also had one interception his rookie season out of Iowa.

He has been one of the alternating inside linebackers for the Cowboys along with Justin Durant and majority leader Sean Lee. Before the season started it was assumed it would only be an extended temporary gig with the possibility of Rolando McClain coming back after his 10-game for violating the league’s substance-abuse policy was finished. But McClain’s return has been questioned with each passing week, though owner Jerry Jones has not entirely ruled out getting McClain back into the fold.

McClain is first eligible to return for the Cowboys’ Thanksgiving game against the Washington Redskins.

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