By Mike Fisher
DALLAS – Ah, the power of DallasBasketball.com's "75-Member Staff'' -- it even works in football ...
Dez Bryant just spoke to a member of 'The 75-Member Staff' and put into words his powerful desire to continue playing for the Cowboys despite his serious finger injury.
"It would take more than this to take me out,'' Dez said, in a sense angry at being given an initial no-go by team doctors. "No way. They'd have to break my leg to keep me out."
Cowboys coach Jason Garrett says the play-or-not-play determination on Dez’s fractured finger will be “a medical decision.’’ Cowboys owner Jerry Jones tells 105.3 The Fan on Tuesday that Dez himself will have the "ultimate decision" about undergoing the season-ending surgery that on Monday afternoon club sources said they considered “all-but’’ inevitable.
Additionally, Dez’ advisor and friend David Wells said in our one-on-one visit that Bryant will today follow his attendance of the memorial service in honor of late teammate Jerry Brown with another visit with doctors in search of approval to allow him to continue playing this season.
“You know Dez,’’ Wells told me. “He’s not going to give up trying. More than anything in the world, he wants to play.’’
If Bryant and medical personnel are able to find a way – whether than comes with a protective device, pain medication or the accepted risk of permanent damage to the finger – among the most surprised people involved will be Jerry Jones and Dez Bryant himself.
On Monday, Bryant himself was telling associates that doctors were advising him against trying to play. Meanwhile, Jones’ front office was in the process of shifting the player to injured reserve for the season.
All along, of course, there has been the slight chance of hope – combined with the strength of Bryant’s will.
"I know he wants to play," Jones said. “Dez will be the ultimate decision-maker on surgery or playing with some kind of padding. … Make no mistake about it. Dez is champing at the bit and wants to take the route of playing."
The Cowboys are 7-6 and in playoff contention despite having lost one-third of the team’s starters to season-ending injury. Jones is well-aware of all that is on the line here.
“Certainly, we’re very mindful of everything involved here and are making sure that everyone, mostly Dez, has all the right information so that he and we can make a decision,” Jones said. “We know a lot right now and we’ll get a little more information here over the next day or so.”
"The doctors are going to say, 'Hey, this is what it is, and this is what we feel like you need to do,' and then we're going to say, 'OK, well, what are the other options,' like you do with any injury, and you go forward and you make your best decision, not only for now, but for the future," Garrett said. "Dez is very passionate about playing. Anyone who's been around him knows that.
"... He's just one of those guys. He loves to play. He's very emotional about the game, very passionate about the game, so we're going to do everything we can to give him a chance to play. At the same time, there's a medical decision as well that we have to factor into this thing, and we'll do the right thing."
For Dez, "the right thing'' means one thing -- short of somebody breaking his leg.