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Dez Bryant (foot) does not practice for Cowboys

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Dallas Cowboys owner Jerry Jones has been openly optimistic for weeks that wide receiver Dez Bryant would be ready to play after the team's bye week despite an initial recovery timetable from his broken foot that said it was unlikely.

Every game, all season

Now we've arrived into true Week 7 preparation time, and the optimism is waning. Bryant did not participate in any team drills Wednesday, and he only worked off to the side. Translation: He's not that close to playing.

This isn't a surprise if you've been following the reporting from NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport, who said this week that Bryant was unlikely to play. Bryant hasn't been able to make cuts and hasn't practiced since his Week 2 injury.

Coach Jason Garrett confirmed on Thursday that Bryant participated in conditioning drills Wednesday and did not rule him out for Sunday.

Matt Cassel will start at quarterback for the Cowboys on Sunday in New York, providing a glimmer of hope along with a healthier defense. Playing in the NFC East is the one bit of luck the Cowboys have had all season. When a 3-3 record is worthy of first place, they are staying within striking distance of the playoffs even without Bryant or Tony Romo.

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