Dallas Cowboys

Dez Bryant said he will play it 'smart' with his knee injury

Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant isn’t expected to play Sunday, telling reporters Friday that he will “play it smart” with his knee injury.
Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant isn’t expected to play Sunday, telling reporters Friday that he will “play it smart” with his knee injury. AP

Dez Bryant insisted Friday that he is in a good place now. However, that doesn’t mean the All-Pro receiver will play Sunday against the 49ers.

Bryant hasn’t practiced all week and the Cowboys list him as questionable for Sunday’s game.

Bryant said he feels the Cowboys are in a good place, too, which is why he, along with the team’s doctors and trainers, will be “smart” about his knee injury.

“It’s a day-to-day thing. I feel good,” Bryant said in his first extensive interview since he injured his knee against the Bears. “I’m getting better each and every day. We’re just going to go from there. We’ve got a hell of a football team. Everybody’s mind is right. The mentality we’ve built since this off-season is tremendous, and I felt like any guy that steps in there, as many as we want to go down, is going to step up and do the job. That’s just something we’ve built around here, and we’ve got good things going on and we just want to keep that rolling.”

Bryant avoided having an MRI for two days, worried it would reveal a worse injury in his right knee than the initial diagnosis on the X-ray Sunday night. He said the battery on his cell phone died, and he didn’t recharge it, needing “space.”

The MRI, though, confirmed the initial diagnosis of a hairline fracture. He could miss up to three weeks.

“Things could have been done a lot different,” Bryant said. “I could have done a way better job on my part. It was more so on really not wanting to see what was going on with my injury. Luckily, it was way better than what I thought. Everything is good. Just ready to get back on that field, whenever that time is.”

The Cowboys fined Bryant, who said he accepts the consequences and will do things differently in the future. He expressed surprise at how big the story became, calling it “drama.”

“I love the Dallas Cowboys from each and every angle,” Bryant said. “When you go out here and practice and have a great time with the group of guys in this locker room and with the coaching staff here, and you’re dealing with some stuff, with a knee injury that occurred on Sunday night, things sort of got difficult for me from that standpoint. Just really didn’t want to know what the issue was. I wish I would have done a better job. Me and coach [Jason Garrett], we talked it out. It was a good conversation. It was good. Like we always do, learn from things and get better. Nobody lost any sleep. Everything was good.”

The Cowboys will count on their other receivers, notably Terrance Williams and Brice Butler, to step up. Bryant said his faith in the team’s other receivers is why he’ll be “smart.”

“We want to be safe,” Bryant said. “It’s a long season. I feel good. We’re going to go from there.”

Bryant missed seven games last season with a foot injury that twice required surgery. He didn’t play any game healthy, playing through knee and ankle injuries in addition to the foot.


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