Cowboys should not risk Dez Bryant's health
Regardless of the fact that he was able to participate in Sunday's walkthrough practice in Oxnard, Calif., he should miss the preseason opener at Oakland on Monday night.
Risking Bryant's health isn't worth it.
When Bryant was nicked up with a bruised quad, suffered during Week 1 at the New York Jets last season, it took him nearly two months to get right.
The Cowboys can't afford for one of their more talented players to get hurt in a preseason game, especially when he's got some leg issues.
"Cautious, definitely, cautious," owner/general manager Jerry Jones said about how the Cowboys are handling injuries. "This early in camp we are not going to push hamstrings. That is just policy. This is exactly what the policy is. When a player has a little tightness, we will be very conservative as to how much he pushes it and whether we need him going though that last drill."
Bryant, of course, said he was fine. But the Cowboys have to protect him.
Miles Austin suffered a hamstring injury earlier in training camp, and coach Jason Garrett made it clear that the Cowboys and Austin need to communicate to make sure he doesn't hurt himself further.
You almost got the feeling Austin was just pushing himself so hard that he didn't want to come out when he felt some tightness in his hamstring. Garrett is running a tight ship around the Cowboys these days. He wants his players on the field, but not if it's going to hurt the team.
Austin has to understand that.
The same goes for Bryant.
Last year, the Cowboys had to deal with their starting receivers missing time with leg injuries. Austin has a history of leg problems, and Bryant got dinged on a punt return when he got smacked in the thigh.
Would thigh pads helped prevent the injury?
The reality is the Cowboys' two lead receivers are hurt and there's no reason to push things.
If anything, it gives Dwayne Harris, Kevin Ogletree, Andre Holmes, Cole Bealsey, Tim Benford and Raymond Radway a chance to emerge as the No. 3 receiver.
Jones said he likes his young receivers and doesn't want to bring in a veteran at this stage. If that's the case, let Bryant sit out and find out what you've got at the position behind him.
Bryant is a young talent that loves the game and has emerged as one of the top players in training camp. His battles with Brandon Carr in man coverage are must-see stuff.
If you want to see Bryant in more must-see type situations, sitting him for Oakland is the best option.
"If there is any sensitivity, we would not risk that," Jones said of Bryant.
That would be a smart decision.
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