OXNARD, Calif. — The Dallas Cowboys are planning on keeping wide receiver Miles Austin out of practice for at least a week, which would put his availability for the Aug. 13 preseason opener at Oakland in jeopardy.
Austin was kept out of the second half of Saturday’s practice with a strained hamstring. The team does not believe it is as serious as the different pulls to both hamstrings that kept him out of six games in 2011, but Dallas will be cautious.
"I’m not necessarily concerned about his situation and why I’m not is we are being very conservative here," owner and general manager Jerry Jones said. "These get a little tightness or a little twinge. Everybody is on the same page here. Let them have a couple of days. We are a month away from lining up. No need to push these guys around and get something that could take weeks. The only thing the I can remember is how last year it took weeks for him to get back a couple of times and what you are seeing is preventative so it won’t take weeks."
Austin has had a number of hamstring issues through his career, which coach Jason Garrett said could be a result of how hard he works in practice.
"We just have to learn from that experience (from last season), and he has to learn from that experience," Garrett said. "Making sure he’s getting all the hydration he needs, getting all the treatment. He’s been doing all that stuff, but we have to make sure we’re somewhat cautious with him in making sure we’re not getting him back too soon and then when we get him back making sure we continue to monitor that … Sometimes when you’re an undrafted guy from Monmouth University and a Jersey tough-type guy you don’t want to tell the coach anything like that. You say, ‘Coach, I’m fine,’ and that’s one of Miles’ greatest strengths. Sometimes it can creep up in a negative way as well."
Kevin Ogletree worked with the No. 1 offense in Sunday’s walk-through, but Garrett said second-year receivers Dwayne Harris and Andre Holmes also will get looks in Austin’s absence.
"We’re going to create a competitive situation," Garrett said. "Kevin’s going to get the first ones when Miles is out, but Dwayne Harris is right there, Andre Holmes is right there and some of the other guys who’ve been here. We want to give them a chance to play early on in training camp and early in the preseason games to see how they can handle it."