Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo is listed as probable on the injury report and expected to play against the Giants with a bruised right hand.
However the Cowboys made a roster move Saturday to bolster their quarterback depth when they signed Chris Greisen to the active roster from the practice squad.
The Cowboys now have three quarterbacks available for Sunday's game against the Giants. Stephen McGee is the backup quarterback.
The Cowboys also placed punter Mat McBriar on injured reserve today with a nerve injury in his foot and signed punter Chris Jones from the practice squad. McBriar had been battling drop foot for the much of the season. The team released guard Daniel Loper to make room for Greisen.
Defensive coordinator Rob Ryan said linebacker Sean Lee, who returned to practice on Friday, is important to the defense not only because of his play, but also his communication. He said it’s better than he imagined.
“He’s been outstanding, I mean, more than you could ever anticipate,” Ryan said. “I like to compare him to Tedy Bruschi, who is one of the finest leaders I’ve ever been around. That’s this guy here.”
Lee has missed only one game, due to a dislocated wrist. The second-year player leads NFL linebackers in interceptions with four.
Ryan said he does not think Lee will be behind when the Cowboys take the field against the Giants on Sunday night.
“You know Lee. He’s been up here all morning, even before the sun came up,” Ryan said. “He’ll be back up to speed. He can’t get enough football. So he’ll be on point, and we expect him to play the whole game.”
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said again Friday that Jason Garrett’s job does not depend on the outcome of Sunday night’s game against the New York Giants.
The Cowboys and Giants play for the NFC East title amid speculation that the losing coach’s job is in jeopardy. But Jones, asked about it on his weekly radio show on KRLD 105.3 FM, said that speculation is “just ridiculous.”
He said, “As I’ve said earlier, and I think it expresses it very well, we’re just getting started with Jason, and it’s just not the case at all. We can go free-wheeling with anything we’re giong to do to ultimately do one thing, and that is win one ballgame. Nobody’s worried about the coach’s job here.”
No matter the score? Jones was asked.
“We’re going to answer this thing as many ways as you want to answer, with as many circumstances,” Jones said. “His job has no bearing and is not a part of this ballgame. Yes, he’s going to be our coach next year, period. No matter what the score is.”
Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo's right hand is taped, as it was during Thursday's practice. He was on the practice field with his teammates. Only safety Danny McCray (ankle) was not practicing.
Linebacker Sean Lee (flu) has returned to practice after missing the past two days. Linebacker DeMarcus Ware (stinger) and nose tackle Jay Ratliff (rib muscle strain), both of whom missed Wednesday's practice and were limited Thursday, were on the field.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said he knows ‘first-hand’ that Dez Bryant’s bill from a New York finance company has been paid.
“I know first-hand that the bill was paid and accepted,” Jones said Friday on his radio show on KRLD 105.3 FM.
The Boston Herald reported this week that Bryant had been sued for $50,000 by Endurance Capital Fund, a New York company that had loaned him $100,000 a year ago. The suit said Bryant had not paid the loan back in full, and the report said the company was waiting to serve him papers when the team arrived at its New York hotel on Saturday.
“I have some familiarity about the detail – quite a bit of familiarity about the detail – of this business that he had this week off the field,” Jones said. “I would say that’s the reason you have disagreements. ... I can’t say, and wouldn’t say, any more about that.”
It’s not the first time Bryant has run into money issues. He settled two other lawsuits earlier this year in which he was accused of not paying for jewelry.
But Jones said Bryant, drafted in the first round in 2010, has shown “outstanding” maturation over the two years he’s been with the Cowboys.
“Relative to his habits of meetings on time, timeliness, preparation and from the kinds of things that we were concerned about when we drafted as opposed to where he is now, he’s made tremendous progress,” Jones said.
Bryant has 57 catches for 858 yards and nine touchdowns. The Cowboys haven’t had a 1,000-yard receiver since Terrell Owens had 1,180 in 2006.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said the stage is set for the Cowboys to have a good game Sunday night against the New York Giants because Tony Romo is a top quarterback and he has a very good team around him.
Jones, speaking Friday morning on his weekly radio show on KRLD 105.3 FM, said Romo’s presence gives him confidence.
“It’s just a very big-time feel-good to know we’re going in with this kind of quarterback,” Jones said, asked to talk about Romo’s season. “He’s had an outstanding year. He’s a top, top quarterback. He’s got a good team around him, in my belief – a very good team around him. And so the stage is set for us to play well in a big game.”
Romo is expected to play Sunday night despite being limited in practice this week because of a bruised throwing hand. Jones said it helps that Romo will get a few extra hours of healing time for the hand because it is a night game.
Romo has not missed a game this season, despite a rib fracture and a punctured lung he suffered in Week 2 at San Francisco. He is 105 yards away from his third 4,000-yard season, and he has a 29-9 touchdown-to-interception ratio.
“We all know, really, he’s had an outstanding year, and it just would be really not a very good thing to not get in the playoffs with the kind of year we’re having with Romo and his health,” Jones said.
Cowboys quarterback Tony Romo could get more of a practice in today than he has the last two days when his injured right hand has limited his work. Coach Jason Garrett said the Cowboys are "hopeful" Romo will be able to fully practice today.
"He’s made progress as the week has gone on, so we hope he responds well to that work the last couple of days and is able to have a good practice today," Garrett said Friday morning.
Romo bruised his right hand on the fourth play of last Saturday's game when he hit the top of Jason Babin's helmet. The swelling has subsided in the hand as the week has gone on, and Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said on his weekly radio show Friday that Romo would be ready for Sunday's winner-take-all game against the Giants.
"He’s going to be playing at full strength," Jones said on 105.3 The Fan. "It’s just a very big-time, feel-good to know that we’re going to be going in with this kind of quarterbacking. He’s had an outstanding year. He’s a top, top quarterback, and he’s got a good team around him, in my belief, a very good team around him. So the stage is set for us to play well in a big game.
"Romo is where we had dreamed that he would be and hoped he would be relative to after his injury last week. So I feel good there. It should be even better by Sunday night and he's getting good work in. That's a good thing."
Garrett said linebacker Sean Lee, who missed Wednesday and Thursday's practices with the flu, is back for practice today.
"We expect him to be out there running around," Garrett said.
Former Cowboys receiver Terrell Owens is close to joining the Indoor Football League’s Allen Wranglers as a player and part owner, according Wranglers general manager Drew Pearson.
Pearson said it’s an opportunity for Owens, 38, to show NFL teams he can still play, put some money in his pocket and help prepare him for life after football.
Typical IFL players earn $225 per game plus a bonus for winning. Pearson said Owens would earn substantially more by signing a personal services contract with the Wranglers as well as the stake in ownership.
Owens did not play football in 2011 after suffering a torn anterior cruciate ligament last season with the Cincinnati Bengals.
The Wranglers’ 14-game season begins February. Pearson said Owens could play all 14 games or just the seven homes games.
The Wranglers are simply waiting for Owens to sign off on the deal.
Cowboys running back Felix Jones didn't say much Thursday, but a thumbs-up was his indicatation that he'll be fine for Sunday's game against the Giants.
"Feeling good; I'm feeling good," Jones said as he left the lunch room for the training room for treatment.
Jones has been limited in practice the past two days, but the Cowboys expect him to be ready to carry the load again.
"Felix looked good, moving around better and better and got some good work in during today’s practice," Coach Jason Garrett said.
Jones' hamstring tightened on him late in the Dec. 17 game against the Bucs. He played only six plays, with five touches against the Eagles last week. The Cowboys pulled him from the game after the Giants beat the Jets, knowing they will need a standout performance from Jones this week in a winner-take-all game.
Jones has been back to his starting role since DeMarco Murray was lost for the season with a fractured ankle against the Giants on Dec. 11. Jones had 16 carries for 106 yards against the Giants after Murray went out, and went for 108 yards on 22 carries against Tampa Bay the following week.
Jones has had at least 20 carries in a game only twice in his career.
Hall of Fame running back Emmitt Smith questioned the Cowboys' mental toughness during an ESPN interview, but Tony Romo said the team has proved its menal toughness more than once this season.
"We had a big game at San Francisco earlier in the year," Romo said. "It felt like a must-win at that time, and we went out there and laid it on the line, and the team won, and we were trailing late in that game. So there was a lot of mental toughness in that game. I think we went up to Washington in a game that was big for us there and showed a lot of mental toughness there. This football team just has a way of keep coming back and keep grinding. Obviously, it comes down to a game like this. That’s why you play sports. That’s why you play this game, is to be involved in games that can allow you to keep going on and playing. I know it’s fun for us to prepare for a game like this."
The Cowboys have had fourth-quarter leads in five of their seven losses. That includes double-digit, fourth-quarter leads against the Jets, the Lions and the Giants.
Smith points to those as reasons for questioning their mental toughness.
"Talent-wise, I think they have it," Smith said in an ESPN interview. "Leadership-wise, they have some good leaders on the ballclub. Do they have enough? Probably not. Can they go up to New York and be mentally tough in this situation? I think Jason [Garrett] has done a very good job of preparing the guys to be physically and hopefully mentally tough, but I think mental toughness is the thing needed in games like this.
"Mental toughness for four quarters or five quarters, if you have to go that far. But that's something our Cowboys have not been able to do in close games. And that's where mental toughness comes into play."