The Cowboys need Dez Bryant to play Sunday. If he doesn't, the Cowboys will be missing their top two receivers. Miles Austin will miss his second consecutive game with a hamstring injury. He is expected to return for the New England game after the bye week.
The Cowboys’ other four receivers, Kevin Ogletree, Laurent Robinson, Jesse Holley and Dwayne Harris, have combined for 21 starts, 77 games, 112 catches, 1,356 yards and four touchdowns. Harris is a rookie. Robinson has spent only 16 days with the Cowboys. Ogletree and Holley's contributions mainly have been limited to special teams until this season.
"Obviously, you'd like everyone to be 100 percent, and we've got some good players banged up right now," Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo said. "That's part of playing in the National Football League, the next guy has got to step up and play good ball. We've got some young guys that we depend on, and they're playing good ball. Kevin had a great practice today. I expect him to come back and have a great week. There's a lot of guys like that, that we depend on. I'm excited for those guys to go out there and show what they can do."
Bryant was injured in the first half of the Jets game when took a helmet to the thigh. The deep thigh bruise kept him out of the 49ers game in Week 2. He didn't return to practice until Sept. 24. He played in Monday's game against the Redskins, playing 57 of 69 plays. He had four catches for 63 yards.
Bryant was limited in practice Wednesday but missed Thursday's practice entirely.
"It’s just him working through the injury," Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. "Dez has had the thigh contusion that he was able to work through it last week and practiced a little bit by the end of the week and got himself to play in the game. When you stress it like you do in the course of a ball game, sometimes it doesn’t bounce back as quickly as you want it to. He just has to continue to work his way through it. We’re hoping by the end of the week he can practice a little bit more and be ready to play in the ball game. We’ll take that one day to day."
-- Charean Williams