The careful handling of three of the Dallas Cowboys best players is due to pay off this week as the Pro Bowl trio of Dez Bryant, Zack Martin and Tyron Smith are all expected to be ready for Wednesday’s practice in preparation for the Sunday night season-opener against the visiting Giants.
Bryant has had a hamstring injury since Aug. 6, though the receiver has repeatedly told our Mike Fisher that he could’ve been playing in the preseason. Guard Martin (neck) is returning to practice this week and will wear a neck roll, something he also did in high school. Tyron Smith has a biceps injury but should also be fine.
Coach Jason Garrett was asked about timing issues for Bryant and quarterback Tony Romo and seemed unconcerned.
“We’re fortunate Tony and Dez have a lot of time on task over the years,” Garrett said. “And they have spent a lot of time together on the practice field. They’ve obviously played a lot in games together.’'
A Romo issue to be decided: Will he take off Wednesdays as he did last season after coming off back surgery?
“We’re discussing what the best thing is for him and really for all the guys as we go week to week,” Garrett said. “He’s certainly done a lot more over the course of the offseason and training camp this year than he has the last two years. We feel good about where he is physically and then we’ll just have those discussions about how we want to handle each week and we’ll finalize those here in the next couple of days.”
The Cowboys feel good on wide receiver Devin Street (ankle) as they expect him to practice Wednesday and they say the same on linebacker Anthony Hitchens, who has missed a large part of the summer with a right foot injury.
“Optimistic,’’ Garrett said of his Hitchens thoughts. "Hopefully he can practice when we get on the field on Wednesday.”
That could be the case for the entire roster minus cornerback Orlando Scandrick (knee), who is out for the season. But otherwise, this is a healthy team that will also get a boost, it hopes, as Christine Michael is scheduled to arrive in DFW on Monday to join the Joe Randle-led competition in the backfield. ... with hopes that there aren't underlying problems with the sometimes-knuckleheaded Randle.
And of course, the Cowboys aren't done churning -- as they never are. Dallas claimed OT Jordan Mills off waivers from Chicago, where the 6-5, 215-pound 24-year-old had started 29 games in his two NFL seasons. The Louisiana Tech product will compete for the swing tackle job here and replaces LB Jasper Brinkley on the roster.