Hello from Valley Ranch, where the Dallas Cowboys have finished up practice for the day. They play the Miami Dolphins in their final preseason game on Wednesday, but that’s really for the lower-rung guys. For the good guys, it’s all about the New York Giants.
Want some reaction to that and other highlights?
— Cowboys coach Jason Garrett was ready for the question about it, and his company line was a strong one. Yes, Dallas wants to offer Bryant support, surrounding him with a security force, banning him from strip clubs and other things. But he’s also got to be held accountable himself. Bryant needs to handle his own progression, too. When Garrett was asked if Bryant readily accepted these regulations, Garrett said he didn’t want to get into specifics. Which … may mean he wasn’t a big fan of them. Oh, and a team source says Bryant is paying for his own security force, in according with the CBA (as first noted here).
“We want to support Dez Bryant,” Garrett said. “We want to support Dez Bryant’s family and do anything that we can as an organization using our players assistance, players development program to help him, just like we would with any player. You want to support them and you want to help them. You also want to hold them accountable. We feel like we do that throughout our organization. We believe in player development, and we believe in helping them as football players on the field and as people off the field. What we’ve tried to do is come up with a plan for Dez (is) help him be his best as a player and as a person. And the accountability factor is an important part of that with him and with anybody on our football team.”
— Bryant, by the way, didn’t practice today, though he did work out with those stretchy cords. He’s trying to deal with jumper’s knee, which is tendinitis. Tight end Jason Witten did the same, which could not have been a bad sign. But Witten won’t actually be in control of his own rehab. It’s going to be up to doctors (maybe tomorrow) to determine if he can go against the Giants. A spleen is nothing to mess with.
— Cowboys DT Jay Ratliff has a high-ankle sprain, and he’s out two-to-our weeks. That puts him on the cusp of possibly being able to do something in the opener. Garrett held out hope that Ratliff could practice “by week’s end,” and maybe play. I would doubt it. Ratliff can play in pain, he’s a tough dude, but considering he hadn’t really practiced before this, I’d be surprised. Meanwhile, DeMarcus Ware wasn’t practicing again … sounds like he’s being incredibly cautious.
— The Cowboys have a game Wednesday, but make no mistake. All eyes are on the Giants. For the starters, especially. Wednesday is the preseason game, and the reserves will battle it out in there. But the bigger-name guys will focus on getting healthy and the G-Men. Rookie Morris Claiborne said he’s already seen film of them from the Super Bowl and in the preseason. He’s not alone. “We want to introduce them to the Giants plan without going too far into it,” Garrett said. “We don’t want the plan to be stale by the time we get into the regular rhythm of the practice week.” By the time Thursday morning rolls around, it’ll be like a Monday of game week. “It’ll be fast and furious,” Garrett said.