The hits just keep coming in a nightmare of a season for the Dallas Cowboys.
Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said Bryant would have surgery on his foot and ankle this week. He also said the decision to shut Bryant down had nothing to do with the Cowboys being 4-11 and eliminated from playoff contention.
Bryant was a shadow of his former self over nine games after breaking a bone in his right foot early in the season. He had surgery on the foot that included a bone graft (and later had a stem cell injection in the foot), and missed five games as a result.
Dez looked normal on the field after initially returning from injury. I had never seen Dez Bryant look normal on a football field before.— Ari Temkin (@arisports) December 30, 2015
"You know, we really try to evaluate our players’ health independent of who we’re playing and when we’re playing and where we’re playing and what the records are," Garrett said Tuesday, explaining why Bryant didn't travel with the team to Buffalo. "And that was the case with Dez. His foot and his ankle have been bothering him for a few weeks now and just thought it was the right thing for him to do was not to play."
Perhaps this will now put to rest the thought that Bryant's performance was unrelated to his injuries. The Cowboys insist they don't believe Bryant came back too soon from the initial surgery in September, but the latest news suggests otherwise.
Be that as it may, with the procedures getting done soon, Bryant is expected to be fully recovered in time to be a full participant in OTAs and training camp, which would an improvement over last year.
#Cowboys expect Dez Bryant to recover and be able to participate in offseason program - he skipped last year when tagged franchise player— Ed Werder (@Edwerderespn) December 30, 2015
In other news, the Cowboys also placed safety Barry Church (arm) and defensive end David Irving (wrist) on injured reserve. To fill the open roster spots, they called up WRs Vince Mayle and Rodney Smith from the practice squad and signed cornerback Josh Thomas, who was a fifth-round pick for the Cowboys in 2011 and has since been on six other NFL rosters since, most recently with the Colts.