The Dallas Cowboys are rumored to be getting a big boost, with Dez Bryant progressing nicely from his injury and possibly on track to return sooner than expected.
Bryant has been out since breaking a bone in his foot in the team’s season-opening win over the New York Giants. Original estimates put him out at between six and 10 weeks, but now there is increasing hope in the Cowboys camp that he could come in at the lowest end of that range.
This week, the team’s executive vice president Stephen Jones said there is a “real chance” that Dez Bryant will be back in time for the return trip with the Giants in Week 7.
The report (via the Dallas News) claimed:
“– Dez Bryant was examined late last week. ‘There’s been no setbacks,’ Jones said. Says there’s a “real shot” he could play after Week 6 bye against the New York Giants.”
While there is no definite timeline set, rumors indicate that the Dallas Cowboys could have Dez Bryant back very soon. This week the wide receiver was able to do some light running on a treadmill, moving one step closer to getting back on the practice field.
His surgery reportedly went off without a hitch as well, and though the Cowboys are being a bit more guarded in their public statements, sources close to the team appear much more confident in his early return.
Jerry Jones: Dez Bryant of course is Superman. His procedure went well. I think he has a chance to return after the bye
— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) October 6, 2015
The Cowboys are certainly not pushing Dez Bryant. If his rehab progresses naturally to allow the receiver back after the bye week the team will take it, but they’re not trying to force it any sooner.
“Getting in condition without putting too much stress and strain on his foot, so he has not been out running routes or anything like that up to this point,” coach Jason Garrett said (via ESPN). “There are different ways to run where you can kind of get yourself in as good a shape as possible leading up to it, so he’s been involved in that.”
The Cowboys could certainly use the boost that would come from Bryant’s return. The team is still without Tony Romo and has dropped its last two games after a 2-0 start. The Cowboys are locked at the top of the NFC East, with the New York Giants and Washington Redskins both sporting 2-2 records and the Philadelphia Eagles — a dark horse Super Bowl pick for many — standing at a surprising 1-3.
The Cowboys are waiting on some other players to heal as well. Linebacker Sean Lee was knocked out of the last game with a concussion, and is now progressing through the league-mandated protocol before he can return. Lee was on the practice field on Thursday, and Garrett hinted that he might be good to go this week.
“We’re optimistic with how he has responded to everything,” Garrett said.
Things won’t be easy this week. The Cowboys face off against the 3-0 New England Patriots, who have looked unstoppable on offense this year.
But if the rumors are true, then the Dallas Cowboys could afford to drop this week’s game and still be in good shape in the standings, as a win over the Giants in what could be Dez Bryant’s return would put them at 3-0 in the division. And the Cowboys may not want to rush Bryant back, with no reason to risk their best offensive weapon when they would much rather have him at 100 percent health for the back stretch of the season.
[Image via Tom Pennington/Getty Images]