Cowboys' Bryant has hairline knee fracture, outlook unclear
By SCHUYLER DIXON, AP Sports Writer
FRISCO, Texas (AP) — Dez Bryant could be joining Tony Romo on the sidelines again, just like a year ago when Dallas slid from first place to last in the NFC East without the two offensive stars.
The Cowboys are resolute about playing with who they have this time, although there's a chance Bryant could play Sunday in San Francisco despite a hairline fracture in his right knee.
Bryant didn't practice Wednesday, three days after the receiver was hurt in a win over Chicago, and the same day he had the MRI that revealed the fracture.
"We've had players with this kind of injury who missed no time in the past and other players who have missed up to a week or more than that," coach Jason Garrett said. "We'll see how he does. When he comes in (Thursday), see how he feels and we'll make our evaluations there as we go forward."
Romo has missed the first three games and could miss up to four more after breaking a bone in his back in the preseason.
When the Cowboys lost all seven games without Romo after the first of two broken left collarbones last season, Bryant missed four of those with a broken foot sustained in the opener. Dallas lost all seven.
Romo broke the collarbone again his second game back, and Bryant ended up sitting the final two games with the Cowboys on their way to a 4-12 finish as the foot continued to bother him along with ankle and knee injuries.
This year, the Cowboys (2-1) have won two straight with rookie quarterback Dak Prescott, doubling the number of victories they had without Romo in 14 games over the three seasons before Prescott showed up.
"We're just going to run our game," Prescott said. "Nothing is really going to change whether Dez is or isn't there. He'd be great to have out there, obviously. He gets a lot of attention. But our game plan continues to work."
Bryant injured the knee on his first catch on the opening series against the Bears, but came back in the first quarter. He caught his first touchdown of the season in the fourth quarter of the 31-17 win.
The 2014 All-Pro went down awkwardly on his right leg when he was tackled by Bears linebacker Christian Jones. Bryant finished with three catches for 40 yards a week after getting season highs of seven receptions for 102 yards.
"He got his workout in around noon today," Garrett said. "Looked like he was moving around pretty good. We've got a number of guys who have injuries on our team. What we do is they come in, they go to the trainers and say, 'Hey, this is how I'm feeling.' We'll keep making our determinations based on the work that they do have."
Pro Bowl left tackle Tyron Smith missed practice also after being inactive against the Bears when a back injury flared up late last week.
NOTES: CB Orlando Scandrick was limited in practice with a pair of groin injuries that sidelined him last week. ... Rookie DE Charles Tapper (back) was placed on injured reserve, and Dallas signed T Emmett Cleary. ... DE Chris McCain was released from the practice squad, replaced by T Clay DeBord.
Follow Schuyler Dixon on Twitter at https://twitter.com/apschuylerAssociated Press