There's at least some encouraging news regarding Dez Bryant's broken foot as the Cowboys prepare for their first of several games without him.

Bryant underwent surgery on a broken metatarsal on Monday after suffering the injury in the 27-26 win against New York last weekend. On Friday, Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said the team considered sending him to the short-term injured reserve, but decided against it.

"In Dez's case, we want to give him every opportunity to be back as soon as he can," Garrett said. "We're optimistic that he can be back soon, and obviously he's an impact player for us."

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That doesn't mean Bryant will be available this weekend in Philadelphia – or even over the course of the next few weeks. But it does mean the Cowboys think he can return within the next six-to-eight weeks.

The reasoning is the timetable of the short-term IR. Every season, each NFL team is allowed to send one player to the injured reserve with the designation to return. If a player is sent to short-term IR, he can't begin practicing with the team until after six weeks on IR, and he can't play until he's been on the list for eight weeks.

Last year, the Cowboys used their short-term IR designation on DeMarcus Lawrence. He sat out the first eight weeks of the season, and he returned in Week 9 against the Arizona Cardinals.

The fact that the Cowboys wouldn't be willing to use the designation on Dez means there's at least some confidence that he can return within that eight-week window. Had he been sent to the short-term IR, he wouldn't have been eligible to play until Nov. 15 against Tampa.

Without the designation, he can potentially return earlier – Week 7 against the Giants and Week 8 against Seattle look like strong possibilities.

In the meantime, Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones said it remains to be seen if Bryant will make the trip to Philly with the team.

"I don't know about that -- let's see how that goes," Jones said. "We want to be sure we're giving him every chance to rehab. You could argue that, well, he could rehab maybe better with the team than without the team. But let's see how that goes."

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