As he walked through the locker room after practice Wednesday, Tony Romo glanced at Dez Bryant holding court with the media. The quarterback offered a smile.
The Cowboys might want to hang a “Welcome Back” sign for their two stars.
Romo and Bryant played in only one full game together last season because of injuries to both. They played fewer than 130 snaps and connected for only 11 passes for 119 yards and a touchdown.
The Cowboys, who went 4-12, missed them.
You can probably almost count on your fingers how many days he’s had with Tony Romo since literally the Green Bay game of a year and a half ago.
Derek Dooley, receivers coach about Dez Bryant
“I think you can probably almost count on your fingers how many days he’s had with Tony Romo since literally the Green Bay game of a year and a half ago [in the postseason],” Cowboys receivers coach Derek Dooley said. “I think there’s probably been 15 days where they’ve been together throwing and catching.
“I don’t care how talented you are. If you’re not out there working on your craft, it can go away from you. I’ve talked to Dez about that. So this summer’s really important for him and certainly training camp [is important] to get his skills back. So all that talent in the world, he’s got it, but you have to go work your craft. Hopefully, his injury will be 100 percent and when we get out of here, he can go start working in the summer and then really get ready for a great training camp.”
On National Best Friends Day, Bryant said he didn’t need reacquainting with Romo.
“It never left,” Bryant said.
Bothered by foot and ankle injuries, Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant had career lows in games (9), receptions (31), yards (401) and touchdowns (3).
Bryant, 27, continues to grow closer to a full return to football activities. An X-ray last week showed his right foot fully healed, but he said he continues to work on getting strength back in his right ankle.
He had surgery on both on Jan. 6. Dr. Martin O’Malley performed a bone-grafting procedure on Bryant’s foot and removed loose bone chips from Bryant’s ankle.
Bryant did individual drills in Tuesday’s organized team activity and went through the walk-through Wednesday. Bryant does not expect the Cowboys to turn him loose for next week’s minicamp, with the team likely waiting until training camp in late July for him to be a full go.
July 28Date the Cowboys report to training camp in Oxnard, Calif.
“We’re just going to be deliberate with our players,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. “Anybody who’s coming off an injury, we’ve just got to make sure we’re deliberate in bringing them back. Dez did some individual work [Tuesday]. He was really good his first day back. We backed him off of that [Wednesday]. He was involved in some of the walk-through stuff, and we’ll have a similar schedule for him next week.
“We’ll bump him up if we feel like we want to, but we don’t anticipate him practicing fully at all in the minicamp. Hopefully, he will get some productive work in.”
Dallas Cowboys schedule
Saturday, Aug. 13 at Los Angeles Rams, 7 p.m. (ESPN)
Friday, Aug. 19 vs. Miami, 7 p.m., (KTVT/11)
Thursday, Aug. 25 at Seattle, 9 p.m. (KTVT/11)
Thursday, Sept. 1 vs. Houston, 7 p.m. (KTVT/11)
Sunday, Sept. 11 vs. New York Giants, 3:25 p.m. (KDFW/4)
Sunday, Sept. 18 at Washington, Noon, (KDFW/4)
Sunday, Sept. 25 vs. Chicago, 7:30 p.m. (KXAS/5)
Sunday, Oct. 2 at San Francisco, 3:25 p.m. (KDFW/4)
Sunday, Oct. 9 vs. Cincinnati, 3:25 p.m. (KTVT/11)
Sunday, Oct. 16 at Green Bay, 3:25 p.m. (KDFW/4)
Sunday, Oct. 23 Bye
Sunday, Oct. 30 vs. Philadelphia, 7:30 p.m. (KXAS/5)
Sunday, Nov. 6 at Cleveland, Noon, (KDFW/4)
Sunday, Nov. 13 at Pittsburgh, 3:25 p.m. (KDFW/4)
Sunday, Nov. 20 vs. Baltimore, Noon (KTVT/11)
Thursday, Nov. 24 vs. Washington, 3:30 p.m. (KDFW/4)
Thursday, Dec. 1 at Minnesota, 7:25 p.m. (KXAS/5, NFL Network and Twitter)
Sunday, Dec. 11 at New York Giants, 7:30 p.m. (KXAS/5)
Sunday, Dec. 18 vs. Tampa Bay, Noon, (KDFW/4)
Monday, Dec. 26 vs. Detroit, 7:30 p.m. (ESPN)
Sunday, Jan. 1 at Philadelphia, Noon (KDFW/4)