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Cowboys begin life without Dez Bryant

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Dez Bryant is going to miss at least the next four weeks, and possibly more. There’s no definitive timetable on his return.

But his fellow receivers are embracing the challenge of filling his void. Terrance Williams ascends to the No. 1 receiving option for quarterback Tony Romo, and it’s a safe bet that slot receiver Cole Beasley and tight end Jason Witten could see more footballs thrown their way. And don’t forget about second-year receiver Devin Street, who should also get significantly more playing time.

“It’s going to be fun watching guys step up in their roles with bigger expectations and go on from there,” offensive coordinator Scott Linehan said. “I look forward to it. I feel really good about the guys and how they have responded to the challenges, being able to step up and get more responsibilities.”

Williams, in particular, is excited about the opportunity. Some wondered whether Williams disappeared last season, opening the season with five TD catches in the first five games and then enduring a five-game stretch later in the season in which he had two games without a reception and five combined in the other three.

Footballs were few and far between last season for several receivers, considering how many touches went to running back DeMarco Murray.

“This year, I’ve tried my best not to be a flash player,” Williams said. “I want to be in the right spot when I’m supposed to be there so whenever Tony does need someone to throw the ball to, I’m there. I think I took that to heart this time. It’s really time to show what we can do.”

Williams, the third-round pick in the 2013 draft out of Baylor, has had his moments already this season. He had one of the better plays of the preseason, a 60-yard TD against the Vikings, and opened the regular season with five catches for 60 yards against the Giants on Sunday.

Briefly

▪ Wide receiver Lucky Whitehead missed practice Friday to attend to a personal matter, but is expected to play Sunday.

▪ Running back Christine Michael continued to work with the scout team this week, and is unlikely to be active against the Eagles.

▪ Former Cowboys defensive tackle Josh Brent visited Valley Ranch on Friday, but he is not attempting a comeback.

Staff writer Charean Williams contributed to this report.

Drew Davison, 817-390-7760

Twitter: @drewdavison

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