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Must Dez Bryant deal with lifelong finger stiffness?

It initially was believed that only surgery would keep Dez Bryant from developing lifelong stiffness in his broken index finger.

Now Dallas Cowboys vice president Stephen Jones says finger damage might be unavoidable, regardless of whether or not the wide receiver has surgery.

Statement Sunday

Christmas comes early for NFL fans. There are six Week 15 games with major postseason implications. Take a closer look at these pivotal matchups:

» Giants at Falcons
» Broncos at Ravens
» Packers at Bears
» Colts at Texans
» Steelers at Cowboys
» 49ers at Patriots

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"It'll be a challenge with the flexibility of the finger, probably, for the rest of his life," Jones said Friday on KRLD-FM, via the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "I think he'll still be able to use it and use it in a way that he'll be successful on the field and use it every day, as well.

"We sure wouldn't do anything if we felt like it was going to compromise his long-term career," Jones went on. "Dez has got a bright career in front of him. He's obviously, I think, growing from a maturity point right before everybody's eyes. He's playing. He's understanding the game better. Playing well on the field."

Bryant said this week that he'll play against the Pittsburgh Steelers. Bryant practiced on a limited basis Thursday, and Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said the receiver looked good.

"We still have a lot of different things we have to get over before we get him ready to play in this ballgame, but his mindset is to play in the game," Garrett said. "We're excited about that."

It seems like we'll see Bryant against the Steelers. How many snaps he'll get -- and how effective he'll be -- is up for debate.

Follow Dan Hanzus on Twitter @DanHanzus.

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