By now the news has spread like wildfire, because that’s what happens when you play for ‘America’s Team,’ that Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Dez Bryant will hold off on surgery and attempt to play with his fractured left index finger.
File this one in the ‘stuff we all knew’ folder. As soon as word got out the decision would be up to Bryant on whether to have surgery or tolerate the pain and play, everyone should have seen this coming. No one loves football more than Dez Bryant and he’s as tough as they come. Even Dez said the other day they’d have to break his leg for him not to play.
I love the passion and I love the toughness from Bryant but the Cowboys should step in and stop him from playing. Bryant has seen two hand specialists and both told him to have the surgery, and I’m guessing they know a little more than he does about the injury.
Allowing Bryant to play is foolish and short-sighted; what happens if Bryant re-injures the finger and causes permanent damage? He could cause permanent stiffness in the finger, which would affect him for the rest of his life. That’s the risk the Cowboys and Bryant are taking by attempting to play, they are risking Bryant’s career for the rest of this season.
As I continue to remind everyone, the Cowboys team is building for the future and risking permanent damage for the last few games of this season isn’t worth the risk. Bryant has shown he’s going to be a great player on the Cowboys for years to come, but only if he can avoid serious injury. This is a risk the Cowboys shouldn’t be willing to take.
The good news is Bryant will ‘attempt’ to play because the team is trying different types of splints and he’s going to test the finger today to see how he feels. His comfort level and ability to catch passes is now the only thing that stands in Bryant’s way of playing.
However, it’s not just catching passes that will affect Bryant, defenders will try to hit the injured hand as much as possible hoping to knock the ball loose. That’s part of the deal too, if you play you’re fair game and opponents will attack your weakness, so catching passes won’t be Bryant’s only issue if he plays.
Still, we all saw it coming. You had to know as I did there was no way Dez was going to sit out if there was any possibility he could play, he loves the game too much.
The Cowboys should have known it too, and they should have made the decision for him. Bryant should have surgery on his finger and get ready for next year, when he should be even better.
As foolish as it is, Bryant will attempt to play on Sunday, let’s cross our fingers (because he can’t) that he doesn’t cause anymore damage.
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