- Tim MacMahon, ESPN Staff Writer
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Brooking said a decision on whether he plays against the Indianapolis Colts will not be made until after he works out Sunday morning at Lucas Oil Stadium.
The 35-year-old Brooking, who is listed as questionable on the Cowboys' injury report, will wear a protective boot until Sunday as a precaution against swelling. He tried to practice Thursday but felt too much pain. Brooking was able to participate in Friday's practice.
"I can tell you right now that I'm better than yesterday," said Brooking, who will wear a shoe a size larger than normal to make room for a plate. "We're taking it one day at a time. My plans are to go out there and move around a little bit on Sunday morning and see how it feels before I make a final decision."
Tampa Bay cornerback Ronde Barber and Washington linebacker London Fletcher, who have both played 203 consecutive games, are the only defensive players with longer active streaks. Brooking has played every game since he had surgery to repair the Lisfranc ligament in his left foot in 2000, his second season in the NFL.
But Brooking, a five-time Pro Bowler and team captain, said the streak would not influence the decision on whether he will play against the Colts.
"I would never put this team in jeopardy by going out there and playing a few snaps just to keep my streak going," Brooking said. "That's one of the reasons we're going to wait until Sunday morning and I'm going to work out. As hard as it is, I'm going to be as straightforward as I possibly can on whether I can go out there and perform and help our team. If I don't feel like I can do that, we'll make that decision."
Rookie Sean Lee, a second-round pick, will get his first career start if Brooking does not play.
The Cowboys' athletic trainers might ultimately make the decision, but interim coach Jason Garrett said Brooking's input will be heavily considered.
"With a guy like that, he gets the benefit of the doubt," Garrett said. "He's a veteran guy. We'll have those discussions and see how he progresses in the next couple of days."
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1dEric D. Williams