Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Dallas Cowboys [Print without images]

Thursday, December 13, 2012
What if Dez Bryant doesn't play?

By Todd Archer

IRVING, Texas – Dez Bryant wants to play, but the Cowboys aren’t sure he will be able to play.

What would the offense look like without Bryant?

Bryan missed the final four games of his rookie season with a fractured ankle and one game last season with a thigh injury. In the five games without Bryant the Cowboys have averaged 26.2 points and 256 yards passing per game with a 3-2 record.

Those 2010 numbers came with Jon Kitna and Stephen McGee starting four games and Tony Romo and Kitna played last year vs. San Francisco.

That Bryant, however, is not playing like this Bryant.

In his last five games Bryant has 33 catches for 525 yards and seven touchdowns.

“Dez has been a big part of our team, but we’ve had a lot of guys get injured on our team, just like every team around the league has, and our mentality is if he’s not able to play we’ll put the next guy in there and function the best way we can,” coach Jason Garrett said. “He’s been a very good player for us. He’s playing the right way I believe he’s grown before our eyes. I think everybody’s seen that. He’s got great passion for the game and it really is infectious for our entire football team. But like every team in the league you have injuries. You have to deal with season-ending injuries. You have to deal with injuries game by game. You have to deal with injuries within games and we’re no different than any other team. We have to function regardless who is out there.”