Guarded approach with Bryant

Owner Jerry Jones is taking a more guarded and cautious outlook on the return of rookie wide receiver Dez Bryant.

Instead of trying to push him to play in one or two preseason games, Bryant might not return until start of the regular season, Jones said.

Jones wants to ensure that Bryant is healthy and ready to go for the Redskins game Sept. 12 so they are weighing the benefits and risks of getting him reps in the preseason and keeping him on the sideline.

Bryant has been out since the first week of training camp with a high ankle sprain, which was supposed to sideline him four to six weeks. His rehab has gone well. He has shed the walking boot and is now doing light running.

Bryant, who missed much of last season at Oklahoma State because he was ruled ineligible by the NCAA, wants to play in the fourth preseason game against the Houston Texans on Aug. 28. And he certainly believes he will be ready for the preseason game against the Miami Dolphins on Sept. 1.

He says he needs the work and wants to get re-acclimated with his teammates.

Bryant, however, said his wish to return against Miami has nothing to do with the pre-draft controversy starting by Dolphins general manager Jeff Ireland when he insulted Bryant by asking him "if his mother was a prostitute" during pre-draft interviews.

Bryant said all that is in the past. He has been sidelined since the first week of camp with the ankle injury and wants to get game action before the season opener.

"That has nothing to do with it at all," Bryant said of the Ireland angle. "That there is in the past. It's strictly football, that's all it's about. ... I'm pretty sure if I was to see him on the field I would shake his hand, shake coach (Tony) Sparano's hand, everything is good. Just a lot of misunderstanding in that situation. Everything is fine."

Jones and quarterback Tony Romo would love to get Bryant in the game and get him some reps.

"I think it would definitely be a positive," Romo said of working with Bryant in a preseason game. "I practice at a tempo like it's a game and I'm out here anyway. If he's out here in the practice field, if that's all we can get that will be enough as well just because the tempo will still be like that from my perspective. Dez is a hard worker. He'll have the same speed and tempo we would have in a game."

But Jones is unsure if it's worth the risk.

"We have got to watch getting too overanxious with him," Jones said. "But yet we know it would be helpful to him to get him work and get him in a couple of these preseason games. It's going to be a decision that is additive to a medical decision, no matter how we look at it."

Romo said he has a good feel for Bryant already because he of his natural instincts and style of play.

"He's got a natural way about running the routes and being in position," Romo said. "He's still got some stuff to learn that we've got to get through, but he's coming along. He's doing good."

Romo said Bryant has done the little things to stay involved as much as possible while he has been sidelined. But he would still like to see him back on the field.

"You've got to be out here," Romo said. "That's part of it, is just going through the experiences like any player. He's going to go through that. He had a lot of time. He had a lot of work in. He corrected a lot of mistakes pretty quickly there. But there's still things we're going to continue to work on. He's got a bright future ahead of him."

Jones said if it was a veteran, there would be no question about him sitting out. Because he is a rookie there is some interest in getting him a game or two. But he said the experience with tight end Martellus Bennett re-tweaking his sprained ankle, forcing him to miss another preseason game, has the Cowboys cautious.

"It's the rookie factor. You'd like to see him get in," Jones said. "He's obviously dying to get in, but that's the decision right there. How smart is this?"

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