IRVING, Texas – The good news continues to roll in for the Cowboys, if Thursday morning’s practice is any indicator.
The Cowboys went through a light, non-padded session during their bye week, but it became a much bigger affair when Dez Bryant reported to the practice fields for conditioning work.
Bryant hasn’t been since in uniform since he had surgery on his broken metatarsal on Sept. 14, one day after he broke the bone during the Week 1 win against the Giants. On Thursday, he showed up in practice uniform – cleats, shorts, shoulder pads and helmet – to work with the Cowboys’ medical staff on the side.
That development gives credence to Cowboys coach Jason Garrett’s assessment from Wednesday, when he called Bryant “day by day” in his recovery.
“He has made a lot of progress,” Garrett said. “He is moving around. I think he feels good.”
Conditioning is obviously nowhere near the same as practice, just as practice isn’t the same as game action. It remains to be seen what Bryant’s appearance means for his chances of playing in Week 7 against New York – which is just 10 days away.
It’s still a positive sign for a team that is desperate for the return of two of its top playmakers in Bryant and Tony Romo.
Elsewhere on the practice fields, Sean Lee returned to work after an off day on Wednesday. Lee’s return gave the Cowboys their full complement of linebackers for the last practice of the week. Randy Gregory also practiced once again after making his first appearance since injuring his ankle in Week 1.
A trio of Dallas defenders were not present Thursday, however. Brandon Carr, Jeremy Mincey and Danny McCray were all absent after practicing Wednesday. The Cowboys aren’t obligated to release an injury report during the bye week, so their absences are unclear.
James Hanna was also absent from practice.
Thursday marked the final time the Cowboys will practice during their bye week. The team will report back to Valley Ranch to begin preparations for the Giants on Tuesday, with practices resuming Wednesday morning.