Cow­boys on roll go­ing into bye week

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - SPORTS - By Schuler Dixon AP Sports Writer

Dez Bryant should be ready to re­turn from a knee in­jury when Dal­las comes back from the bye for a key game against Philadel­phia in the sud­denly dif­fi­cult NFC East.

When the Ea­gles visit on Oct. 30, the Cow­boys will be that much closer to hav­ing to de­cide whether Tony Romo gets his job back from Dak Prescott, the rookie quar­ter­back with a fiveg­ame win­ning streak.

Of course, Dal­las has this touchy sub­ject be­cause of a surge to the sec­ond-best record in the NFC en­tirely with­out Romo, side­lined by a pre­sea­son back in­jury, and mi­nus 2014 All-Pro re­ceiver Bryant for three games.

And, yes, coach Ja­son Gar­rett con­sid­ers it a touchy sub­ject.

“Does this mi­cro­phone work?” a some­what ex­as­per­ated Gar­rett asked Mon­day when he’d had enough of the ques­tions about Romo, prompt­ing laugh­ter as re­porters got the hint.

The Cow­boys (5-1) are win­ning the same way they did in 2014, when they also dropped the sea­son opener at home and won the next six on the way to the

NFC East ti­tle at 12-4. Dal­las is get­ting ef­fi­cient play at quar­ter­back and dom­i­nat­ing the run­ning game, which is help­ing an op­por­tunis­tic de­fense.

But in­stead of Romo and 2014 NFL rush­ing cham­pion DeMarco Mur­ray, it’s a pair of rook­ies in Prescott and league rush­ing leader Ezekiel El­liott. And a team with plenty of other young play­ers has

back-to-back wins over peren­nial play­off teams in Cincin­nati and Green Bay.

“I’m sur­prised that we’re play­ing as well as we’ve played,” owner Jerry Jones said after a 30-16 win over the Pack­ers , just the sec­ond ever for Dal­las in Green Bay. “We just want to keep this thing go­ing for­ward, know­ing in the NFL that the wheels could come off at any minute.”

If the wheels don’t come off, Gar­rett will even­tu­ally have to an­swer ques­tions about Romo vs. Prescott.

Gar­rett said he didn’t

an­tic­i­pate the 36-year-old Romo for the only prac­tice this week on Wed­nes­day, which means the ear­li­est Dal­las’ 10-year starter could prac­tice would be four days be­fore the Philadel­phia game. In that case, the Nov. 6 visit to Cleve­land is a more likely po­ten­tial re­turn date.

If the Cow­boys beat the Ea­gles and another stand­out rookie quar­ter­back, Car­son Wentz, the proPrescott cho­rus will grow.

Since Fri­day, that cho­rus has grown to in­clude four prom­i­nent names

in Cow­boys lore: Hall of Fame quar­ter­backs Roger Staubach and Troy Aik­man, all-time NFL rush­ing leader Em­mitt Smith and two-time Su­per Bowl-win­ning coach Jimmy John­son.

The rea­son­ing is mostly the same from each: In the NFL, you don’t mess with mo­men­tum.

“I’d hate to end up here with two win­ning quar­ter­backs and a tough de­ci­sion as to who is go­ing to win the game,” Jones said with a wink. “I think what we do is en­joy how we’re see­ing

Dak progress. I have com­fort in the fact that ev­ery time Romo throws a foot­ball it’s got more ve­loc­ity on it. That’s a good spot to be in.”

Bryant re­turned to prac­tice last week and wanted to play against the Pack­ers, but doc­tors ruled oth­er­wise.

As­sum­ing he re­turns against the Ea­gles, it will be five weeks since he sus­tained a hair­line frac­ture in a bone in his right knee against Chicago. Bryant re­turned to the game after get­ting hurt and had

his only touch­down of the sea­son.

Gar­rett hap­pily ad­dressed ques­tions about Bryant. Romo, not so much.

“We don’t deal a whole lot in hy­po­thet­i­cals,” Gar­rett said. “What we try to do is we try to fo­cus on what’s in front of us right now and do the best job we can as play­ers and coaches. Tony has done a re­ally good job with his rehab, and he’s get­ting bet­ter and bet­ter ev­ery day.”

The ques­tion won’t be hy­po­thet­i­cal much longer.

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