Yesterday morning, Jerry Jones spoke on KLRD 105.3 FM radio in Dallas about Dez Bryant’s injured fingered. Jones said that it would ultimately be Dez Bryant’s decision to play or not. Bryant can play with added padding, but if he puts off surgery, he runs the risk of long-term debilitation. Jones’ radio spot was transcribed by Carlos Mendez of Star-Telegram.com:
Dez will be the ultimate decision-maker as to whether or not he wants to continue to try to play with a lot of protection or whether he should have surgery. The reason for the surgery is because you could have a life-lasting stiffness there.
Obviously, Jerry Jones wants to make the playoffs, and the Cowboys’ chances of making the playoffs are greatly diminished if they lose their most potent offensive weapon. Letting Dez Bryant choose whether or not he will play is fine. If Bryant wants to risk life-long debilitation of his finger by helping the Cowboys’ 2012 playoff aspirations, then that is a decision he has to make.
But why go public with that information? Had Bryant decided not to play, fans/media would forever criticize him for not playing through the injury. Maybe Jerry Jones went public strategically to put added pressure on his star player to play. Or maybe Jones was completely oblivious to the unfair situation he was potentially creating. Either way, it’s totally unacceptable.
Reportedly, Bryant desperately wants to play. I don’t believe that he was influenced by Jones going public with the news that it was Bryant’s decision. I believe Bryant is a tough guy that wants to play. But there are ways to handle internal business, and there are ways not to. Jerry Jones doesn’t get that, and probably never will.