IRVING, Texas (AP) — On the eighth of 11 questions concerning whether Dez Bryant would play six weeks after breaking his right foot in the season opener, Dallas coach Jason Garrett had heard about enough.
“We don’t put these things down like the Magna Carta that these are all the different standards that we have for Dez,” Garrett said Tuesday. “We have an objective. We want to get him back on the football field as quickly as we can.”
The All-Pro receiver hasn’t played since the Cowboys (2-3) beat the New York Giants, and now the question is whether he’ll be ready for the rematch Sunday in what is considered the minimum number of weeks needed for the bone to heal.
Dallas is 0-3 without Bryant and Tony Romo, who will miss at least four more games with a broken left collarbone.
Garrett wouldn’t say whether Bryant will practice Wednesday after he worked on the side for the first time since the injury during last week’s bye.
And while the coach said Bryant was cleared medically for the work he’s done so far, Garrett wouldn’t say Bryant had final clearance. He also declined to say whether the bone was fully healed.
Bryant wasn’t available in the locker room when it was open to reporters Tuesday.
“We are not going to make any determination today as to whether or not Dez Bryant is going to play in this game,” Garrett said. “We are going to see how he is doing. He has made a lot of progress in the last two weeks.”
The Cowboys have just two touchdown passes in the four full games that Bryant missed after getting injured early in the fourth quarter against the Giants. Brandon Weeden came on when Romo went down a week later against Philadelphia, but now Weeden has been replaced by Matt Cassel after losing all three of his starts.
Dallas is coming off a 30-6 loss to New England that was the first time in four years the Cowboys have gone without a touchdown.
Maybe that’s why owner Jerry Jones sounds optimistic.
“It totally depends on how he’s doing,” Jones said on his radio show. “He had a good end of the week last week. He got in some really good work, didn’t have much negative response from that work. It was strenuous work, the kind that if he can step out here and have a couple really good days of practice, you could see him on go.”
Bryant had a procedure almost two weeks ago designed to try to speed the healing process, but he’s been cautioned by other receivers who had the same injury about returning too soon. That included Atlanta’s Julio Jones.
Garrett said Bryant’s input would weigh heavily in the decision.
“We want to be deliberate with the process that we go through,” Garrett said. “And that’s with every player that is hurt. We will never put them in a compromising position in practice or in a game.”
Still, there is an urgency with the Cowboys visiting the Giants (3-3) and realistically needing at least two wins in the four games Romo will miss for sure. A win over New York gives Dallas, the defending NFC East champion, a 3-0 record in the division.
“I don’t know what 100 percent really means in this particular case,” Jones said. “One hundred healed? One hundred percent from the standpoint of no sensation, no sensitivity?
“I don’t think you would have no sensitivity, but I do think that all the combination of all the work he’s done, which has been extraordinary as well some of the additional procedures that were done give us a lot of confidence that if he’s comfortable to putting it down and driving off of his foot then we’re comfortable with him playing.”