JERSEY CITY - Dez Bryant was not on the Cowboys team plane that traveled to New York on Friday, seemingly making it less likely that the All-Pro receiver will return from a broken bone in his right foot in time to play the Giants on Sunday. And now it's official: While Dez did arrive at the team's New Jersey hotel on Saturday night, he's been ruled out for the game.
Coach Jason Garrett says there is no “Magna Carta’’ of rules for Bryant, who is listed as doubtful for the game after not being able to practice all week. This weekend marks six weeks since he sustained the injury in Week 1 against the Giants, a 27-26 Dallas victory; the Cowboys have said they’d hoped the surgically-repaired bone might heal in six weeks, and Bryant himself told CowboysHQ.com that playing in this rematch was his optimal “plan.’'
But now there is a new plan, and there is a Magna Carta-level rule made clear: Bryant needs to be just right. And he's not. Yet.
The Cowboys — 0-3 without Bryant and QB Tony Romo, who has a broken collarbone and isn’t eligible to play until Nov. 22 — left for New York a day earlier than usual to visit Ground Zero. That record suggests to some that Dallas should feel some urgency to rush Bryant back. But numerous sources tell CHQ that Dez’ foot needs to be 100-percent healed before he plays again, as short of that the risk of a re-break is too great.
Bryant tells us he will not do anything “foolish’’ and Garrett echoes that sentiment.
"We want to be deliberate with the process that we go through," Garrett said. "And that's with every player that is hurt. We will never put them in a compromising position in practice or in a game."
Without Bryant and Romo, Dallas will need to rely on some recent history. The Cowboya are 4-1 against the Giants at MetLife Stadium under Garrett, who is 12-3 on the road against NFC East opponents. And maybe the Cowboys can rely on their defense, too, led by pass-rush standout Greg Hardy. The last time he faced the Giants, in 2013, his Panthers sacked Eli Manning seven times. Hardy recorded three of those sacks.
"Hit him in the mouth,” Hardy said of the way for a defense to rattle Manning or any other QB. “The best thing for any team is to make the quarterback feel pain.’'
It would also be helpful for Dez Bryant to have his “pain’’ behind him.