Cowboys notes: Dez Bryant not worried about sprained foot

Posted Thursday, Sep. 12, 2013  comments  Print Reprints
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Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant has no worries about the mild foot sprain he suffered in the season opener against the Giants.

He has practiced all week and said his foot feels great.

Even though he underwent an MRI exam on Monday to make sure it wasn’t anything more serious than a mild foot sprain, Bryant said he never had any concerns or doubts about playing in Sunday’s game against the Chiefs.

Bryant is taking a similar attitude toward his limited role in the offense against the Giants. A season that is supposed to feature Bryant cementing his place among the top receivers in the game began with his catching just four passes for 22 yards because of constant double teaming.

“I promise you, my time’s coming,” Bryant said. “When it comes, I’m going to take advantage of it. Of course you always want to catch the ball and make a play, but at the same time, we’re trying to win. It’s got to be smart football. Just got to be patient. There will be a time when [receiver] Miles [Austin] might get doubled, Witt [tight end Jason Witten] might get doubled, whoever. Like I said, when your number is called, you’ve just got to make a play.”

Bryant’s attitude is another example of his growing maturity compared to his past volatility when he would erupt into tirades on the sideline when the ball wasn’t coming his way.

He even agreed with that assessment.

Of course, Bryant said he saw double teams last season and still caught 92 passes for 1,382 yards and 12 touchdowns.

“I was double-covered a lot. When we found the opening, we hit it,” he said.

Bryant hinted the Cowboys are working on things to free him up from double teams and that he is continuing to work hard in practice to find ways to make plays against the coverage.

“Just try my best to continue to keep working hard,” Bryant said. “When I see that type of coverage in practice versus the scout team, make sure the guys go hard, press me hard, me working it and trying to get a good release of it.”

Ware’s drought

Cowboys defensive line coach Rod Marinelli had a present waiting for DeMarcus Ware when the defensive end returned to work this week.

Taped to Ware’s locker was a cigar. The message attached read: “Close but no cigar,” and was signed, “Your loving coach.”

“I’ve got to figure out some way to get him to take that cigar out of my locker,” Ware said.

Ware is in a sack drought, one of his biggest in several years.

In the past nine games, the Pro Bowler has only 2.5 sacks. Of course, he ended last season with right shoulder and right elbow injuries that limited him, and he required off-season shoulder surgery.

He opened 2013 with high hopes of returning to form, but though he had six pressures, Ware had no tackles and no sacks. He did have one interception, though.

“It feels different not having a sack, but I had [six] pressures last game,” Ware said. “I hit him probably about four times if you really want to talk about that. With me, it’s all about getting even more pressure, getting there a little bit faster. We got there, but me, consistently, I’ve got to get there a little bit better.”

Ware is only three sacks from passing Harvey Martin as the team’s all-time sacks leader. Ware has 111. Martin played from 1973-83, and although sacks didn’t become an official statistic until 1982, the Cowboys still recognize his 114 as a team record.

Spencer encouraged

Anthony Spencer didn’t practice Thursday, but the Cowboys insist it is part of his rehab plan. Spencer stayed back at Valley Ranch and lifted weights while the team practiced at AT&T Stadium.

Spencer said he is encouraged by the way his knee responded to being on the field for “15 or 16 plays” Wednesday. It was his first practice since having knee surgery July 25.

“This is the first week I’ve gone straight through without swelling,” Spencer said Thursday.

Spencer said he will practice Friday and then will “see how it feels.”

Asked if he would play Sunday, Spencer said, “I’m getting ready to play.”

Waters’ status TBD

Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said guard Brian Waters has taken some reps with the first team this week in practice but that no determination has been made on his role for Sunday’s game against the Chiefs.

The Cowboys are still trying to see how much Waters, who signed with the Cowboys on Sept. 3 and has not played a game since 2011, can do.

He acknowledged he will travel with the team to Kansas City this weekend but said his status might come down to a game-time decision.

Garrett acknowledged that if Waters does play it could be in a platoon with guard Mackenzy Bernadeau, though no decision has been made if he would start or come off the bench.

Clarence E. Hill Jr. 817-390-7760 Twitter: @clarencehilljr

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