Top draft pick Dez Bryant is out of his walking boot and perhaps ahead of schedule in his rehab from the high ankle sprain he suffered the week of training camp. But the Cowboys won't push him to get back on the field, preferring to see him healthy in the regular season over having him get snaps with the offense in preseason games.
Even so, instead waiting for Bryant to be back for the regular season opener Sept. 12, there is a feeling among the Cowboys that he could be for the final preseason game, if not sooner than that.
"He's doing well, and we expected him to do well, by the way," owner Jerry Jones said. "We had expectations, and I am hopeful we will have him back for those last two preseason games."
Bryant is not yet running but he is doing light rehab work with the trainers and is walking on the tread mill.
He said the Cowboys are taking it slow for precautionary reasons but he is feeling good and ready to go.
"This is the biggest step. The boot is missing," Bryant said. "The way my ankle is feeling, it feels great. I am healing real fast. I feel I've got a big shot to come back for the Houston game."
The Cowboys play the Texans Aug. 28 and then Dolphins Sept. 1 in the final two games.
There is no doubt he wants to be on the field against the Dolphins — considering the controversy started by Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland leading up to the draft.
Ireland was the evaluator who asked Bryant if his mom was prostitute during a predraft interview, causing embarrassment and media frenzy for all involved.
Making amends and righting past injustices is an ongoing process for Bryant, who has taken a step in the right direction toward healing a pre-camp controversy in the Cowboys locker room.
Remember it was Bryant who caused his own stir when he refused to carry veteran receiver Roy Williams' pads the first week of camp in a rookie hazing incident.
Bryant bought the entire receiver corps a pair of Air Jordans. And not just any pair of Jordan's, he got them a model that has not even been released yet.
"I did that out of that out of the kindness of my heart," Bryant said. "It didn't have anything to do with rookie hazing. I just want to build a great relationship with those guys. I want things to be right. I feel like we've got some great chemistry, can't nothing break that. It will be a lot smoother and easier in practices and games."
Bryant said that was also the reason he went the extra mile and got Williams the Madden 2011 video game.
"Yeah I did," Bryant said. "I got one for me and Roy. I know Roy loves video games. So I got it. That's all about, go back to try to build team chemistry. If feel if you've got that, you play a lot harder, things will be a lot better. There were some things I did at Oklahoma State, like I bought the whole wideout crew dog tags and they had their name, their number and freak time on it. That's what our receiver coach had called us. I felt like that brought us together. I just want to do my little part here."
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