Dez Bryant wants to play this week, and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has already called him the “ultimate decision-maker,” in regards to playing with a broken finger.
Toward that end, Bryant is getting a second opinion today in hopes of being cleared to play against the Steelers.
“We don’t anticipate Dez practicing today, and we’re just going to see where he is,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said, via Charean Williams of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “We’re going to get that information. One of the things that we know about Dez is that he’s a tough guy, and he loves playing football. He’s going to give himself and our team every chance possible to play in this ball game and continue to play this season.
“We just need to get more medical information about how to handle the situation right now, the best way to handle it for now and the future.”
Bryant hurt his left index finger in the fourth quarter last week, missed five plays but returned and caught a touchdown pass with the finger taped to the next one.
X-rays showed a fracture, and he will need surgery, but the hope is he can put it off if it doesn’t create a risk of long-term damage.
“I would say that [the risk of more harm] is an overriding question with all injuries and certainly the willingness of the player to play, the ability of the player to function like he needs to function are big questions as well,” Garrett said. “But certainly his health now, his health going forward are huge factors in making this decision.”
It’s easy to say “it’s just a finger,” in a case like this, especially when he’s already performed well with the injury. When it’s your finger, and a key component in your future earnings, the decision becomes far more complicated.