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Cowboys Mailbag: September 22, 2011

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NATHAN SIMPSON LAVALE, MD :Should we be worried that Dez Bryant still isn't practicing, and is there any truth to the rumors he has been late to rehab sessions and missed team meetings?

Rob:The more time he misses, yes, I'd be concerned not only about his availability Monday, but his progress at wide receiver. Remember, for all his talent, he's a young player who essentially only has one training camp and 13 games of experience. The team is hopeful the contusion will loosen up as the week goes on. Haven't confirmed the report that he missed a treatment, but we all know tardiness has been an issue for Bryant in college and last year as a rookie. Jason Garrett did say he has improved in that area.

Josh:I don't know that you need to be lighting candles for him or anything. He's such an athletic specimen anyway that he's always gotten by more on his physical skills than savvy for the X's and O's of the game. But if he's still missing practices, it does put in doubt his availability for Monday night. I'd worry about that and the short term more than these past couple weeks having a long-term affect on him. As for the rumor you mentioned, there was something to that last year after he broke his leg, and there have been different things whispered about his work ethic around Valley Ranch in the last year. But I can't substantiate that rumor as relates to this most recent injury.

EMILIO MENDOZA LUBBOCK, TX :What are your thoughts on Anthony Spencer right now, and do you see him continuing to play at a high level?

Rob: I think he and several players are benefiting from Rob Ryan's scheme because it provides so many different looks for the offense. Give him credit, too, not only for the two sacks but the way he has played the run. It has always been an underrated strength of his.

Josh: Obviously he's capable. We knew that because we had seen it before. But before I pronounce him a changed man, I'd prefer to see him keep it up for the entire season, and maybe after his offseason payday, too, because of the justifiable questions about his motor.

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