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Dez Bryant announces he'll play for Dallas Cowboys

NFL.com's Ian Rapoport was inside the Cowboys' locker room after Thursday's practice when Bryant told reporters the only thing they needed to know is, "I'm playing."

Quarterback Tony Romo told Rapoport that Bryant -- who wore a special white glove over his broken finger -- caught passes during Thursday's session. Coach Jason Garrett said earlier in the day that he didn't anticipate Bryant putting in that kind of work, but the third-year pro has maintained all along he hopes to be ready to face the Steelers.

The news is less promising for nose tackle Jay Ratliff. Rapoport cited a source who has spoken with the player in reporting that Ratliff underwent surgery for a sports hernia Thursday morning in Philadelphia. The source said Ratliff faces a three- to six-week recovery period. No determination has been made on if Dallas will ship the defender to injured reserve.

It leaves the Cowboys paper thin in the middle of their defense, where the loss of Josh Brent to the reserve/non-football injury list means Sean Lissemore is the only pure nose tackle on the roster.

Follow Marc Sessler on Twitter @MarcSesslerNFL.

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