If we are to put any stock in Twitter accounts and exclamation marks, it’s quite clear that rookie wide receiver Dez Bryant will make his professional debut next Thursday, as your Dallas Cowboys take on the Miami Dolphins at JerryWorld in the preseason finale.
"Back in action Thursday night!!!!!" Bryant Tweeted Sunday evening.
Of course, before Saturday night’s debacle in Houston, most every source had Bryant out until the regular season debut in Washington with a high ankle sprain, suffered on July 30 shortly after the opening of training camp in San Antonio. If Bryant’s words needed any backing, however, they got some in the form of owner and general manager Jerry Jones’s remarks after the 23-7 loss to Houston.
“I don’t know... He’ll be able to play,” Jones said, when asked of Bryant’s status Saturday. “He, physically, will be ready to go. The question is, is it worth some of the risk--but if we end up playing regulars, then that might make a difference.”
Jones made no excuses for his team, which was woefully and thoroughly outplayed in Houston, but rather wondered, as many fans were left to do on Saturday night, if the squad’s starters couldn’t use a bit more preseason action before doing battle with the Redskins in Washington to open the regular season on Sept. 12.
Head coach Wade Phillips didn’t dismiss the idea of playing his starters in the fourth week (actually fifth, for Dallas) of the preseason, a time usually reserved for hopeful prospects trying to earn a roster spot.
"We're not ready for prime-time yet," Phillips said, after Saturday’s loss. "If the players aren't ready to play for the first regular-season game, then I need to get them ready to play. ... If we see that things are correctable and we can correct them in practice, we'll do that. If we need more game time, then we'll just have to do it."
If Bryant is indeed ready, he may just be among the players we see in action next Thursday.
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