While owner Jerry Jones continues to target Sunday’s game against the New York Giants for the possible return of receiver Dez Bryant, coach Jason Garrett remains beholden to a deliberate rehab process.
Garrett is hopeful that Bryant’s and his fractured foot will be ready for the Giants game but makes no guarantees about the game or even practice this week.
What is clear, according to Garrett, is that Bryant needs to be able to do something in practice in order to play Sunday.
“We don’t put these things down like the Magna Carta and say, ‘These are all the different standards that we have for Dez. This is what his standard is for this day and for this day and for this day’,” Garrett said. “We have an objective. We want to get him back on the football field as quickly as we can. We have different processes we’ll go through to help get him there. Then, day by day we’ll evaluate it and see if he’s able to do what we’ve asked him to do, see if he’s capable of doing more, see if we should dial it back, and we make our best decision as we go.
“We’re not going to make any determination today about whether or not Dez Bryant is going to play in this game. We’re going to see how he’s doing. He’s made a lot of progress in the last few weeks.”
Garrett acknowledges Bryant has made a lot of progress since undergoing surgery Sept. 14 to repair a fractured bone in his foot.
The Cowboys will conduct their first full practice on Wednesday but Garrett doesn’t even know if Bryant will be full participant if at all.
What he does in practice Wednesday and/or Thursday will play a key role in the decision, per owner Jerry Jones.
“It totally depends on how he’s doing,” Jones said on his radio show on 105.3 FM The Fan. “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.”
Jones said Bryant will make the ultimate decision.
“There’s no set procedures,” Jones said. “There’s no set line of demarcation on this or anything. Everybody will get a feel for it, but more importantly, he’ll get a feel for it. He’s the key. He’ll have to decide does he push off on it. This is strictly do you feel comfortable making your cuts. If you do, then it’s on go. If not, we’ll wait a week.”
Garrett, however, said the final decision be a collaborative effort between Bryant, the medical staff and the coaches.
“His input matters,” Garrett said. “Nobody knows his body like he knows his body, so how he’s feeling, what he’s able to do functionally, what that feels like, the different stresses he puts on it, he’s the one who knows that better than anyone else. That communication is critical. But there also has to be another set of eyes on it. The medical people are great at working through injuries and certainly there is a coach’s perspective as well as to how he looks.”