IRVING, Texas – It doesn't appear there will be a rushed decision about whether Dez Bryant's season is over, to hear it from Cowboys coach Jason Garrett.
Bryant did not play in Sunday's 16-6 loss to Buffalo, as he continues to nurse ankle and knee injuries that have plagued him for most of the season. With just one game remaining on the schedule, though, Garrett said the Cowboys are still determining whether Bryant can suit up.
"We'll see," Garrett said during his Monday press conference. "He's going to have some further tests and evaluations here in the next couple of days and we'll make a better determination as the week goes on."
To say Bryant has coped with multiple injuries this year would be a serious understatement. The All-Pro receiver broke his foot during the season opener back on Sept. 13, and he suffered the injuries to his ankle and knee during the Nov. 8 loss to Philadelphia.
Throw in the hamstring strain suffered during training camp, and it's been one thing after another for the Cowboys' two-time Pro Bowler.
Bryant coped with those problems for most of the season – even to the point that he practiced fully during the three weeks prior to the Buffalo game. The nature of Bryant's absence, coupled with the Cowboys' elimination from playoff contention, is enough to spark speculation that the coaching staff would sit Bryant for the remainder of the regular season.
Despite that, Garrett said the objective is to make injury evaluations separately from outside circumstances.
"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," he said. "And that was the case with Dez. His foot and his ankle have been bothering him for a few weeks now, and we just thought it was the right thing for him to do was not to play."
Thanks to the litany of injuries – not to mention the Cowboys' rotating cast at quarterback – it's been a forgettable year for Bryant. He's on pace to finish with career-low numbers in all major categories, as he has just 31 catches for 401 yards and three touchdowns in nine appearances this season.
Even if the season has been disappointing, though, Garrett has stressed multiple times the importance of finishing the season strong. If Bryant can get clearance to play this week, it shouldn't be surprising to see him Sunday.
"If they're healthy enough to play, they're playing," Garrett said.