PHILADELPHIA – There's been no change in Dez Bryant's prognosis for return, as far as the Cowboys' front office is concerned.
Reports surfaced early Thursday morning that an added procedure – a bone graft, to be exact – would add weeks onto Bryant's return from a broken metatarsal. Those reports suggested an absence of 10-to-12 weeks, as opposed to the initial report of six-to-eight.
Following Sunday's 20-10 win against the Eagles, Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones said Bryant is on the same schedule as expected.
"In no way, in our opinion, will that prolong and increase the amount of time Dez Bryant will be out," Jones said. "That's just wrong."
Bryant broke the bone in the fourth quarter of the Week 1 win against the Giants, and he underwent surgery Sept. 14. The Cowboys opted not to place him on short-term injured reserve – which would have made him unavailable for a minimum of eight weeks – because they're optimistic he can return quickly.
Jones pointed out that DeMarcus Lawrence had the same procedure done last year when he broke his foot during his rookie training camp. The Cowboys opted to send him to the short-term IR, sidelining him until Week 9, but Jones said his recovery time was quicker than that.
"It's done to increase, in other words enhance, the timetable for him to get back," Jones said of the procedure. "Last year Lawrence had the same exact thing – took some bone, grafted it to help with the assistance of growth around the area. He was back, arguably – although we put him on IR – you could make the case that we had him out there doing football after five weeks."
Bryant's playmaking ability would be a welcome return for an offense that now figures to be without Tony Romo for the foreseeable future. A six-week recovery could see him return in time for the Oct. 25 trip to New York to play the Giants, while an eight-week recovery could see him back on the field in time for the Nov. 8 rematch against Philadelphia.
In a twist of irony, Jones acknowledged that he planned on waiting for players to return – just not on offense. The Cowboys went into the season aware that they'd be waiting for Greg Hardy and Rolando McClain to return from suspension.
The wait on Bryant and Romo promises to be even more heavily-scrutinized.
"We do have help on the way on defense, but who would have ever thought we'd be sitting here working without Romo or Bryant," Jones said. "It's not something that I planned to have to address."
As for Bryant, the All-Pro receiver has been plenty vocal about his own recovery process on social media. On Sunday afternoon, he addressed the speculation with a rebuttal of his own: