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That’s really all that Jones and most Cowboy fans care about. Bryant is so good at making tough catches that he could be the difference between a Dallas team that finishes 8-8 again or one that goes to the playoffs.

All will be forgiven if he helps the Cowboys get there.

In professional sports, talent almost always trumps everything. The list of players who’ve been given second, third and even fourth chances was long before Bryant’s name was added.

Ultimately, though, the plan is bound to fail. No matter how great the lure of a possible Super Bowl run _ and it’s a longshot for the Cowboys even with Bryant _ you can’t babysit a grown man forever.

The fact Jones is even trying shows how desperate he is.

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Tim Dahlberg is a national sports columnist for The Associated Press. Write to him at tdahlberg(at)ap.org or http://twitter.com/timdahlberg