Jones: Bryant will decide if he can play

December, 11, 2012
12/11/12
10:15
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On his weekly radio show, Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said wide receiver Dez Bryant will ultimately decide whether he plays in pain or has season-ending surgery to repair a fractured left index finger. Bryant injured the finger in Sunday's game and spent Monday talking to a hand specialist about his options. Per the Fort Worth Star-Telegram:
Jones, speaking on his weekly radio show on KRLD 105.3 FM "The Fan," said if Bryant chooses to wait on the surgery, it could have a lasting effect on his finger, leaving it with some stiffness permanently. Jones said hand specialists have said so.

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"I know he wants to play," Jones said. "Dez will be the ultimate decision-maker on surgery or playing with some kind of padding."

Surely, Bryant wants to play, continue his recent hot streak and help the Cowboys make a run at a playoff spot. With three games left in the season, Dallas is one game out of first place and one game out of a wild-card spot. Bryant has 525 receiving yards and seven touchdown catches in his last five games. The Cowboys are 4-1 in those games.

But one question is whether Bryant can be as effective a receiver as he's been if he has to play with a broken finger. He taped it up and went back in the game and caught a touchdown pass Sunday, but that doesn't mean he can play three whole games and consistently make the kind of plays he's been making.

The larger question, raised here by Jones, is whether Bryant could do lasting damage to his finger by re-injuring it, something that could affect his long-term health and his productivity beyond this season. That's the more serious question, and it's why I think cooler heads will ultimately prevail here and Bryant will end up having the surgery to end his season. That's my guess, is all. Imagine we'll have an answer one way or the other in the next 48 hours.

Dan Graziano

ESPN New York Giants reporter

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