- Tim MacMahon, ESPN Staff Writer
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Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones does not expect receiver Miles Austin to play in the remainder of the preseason.
Austin has not practiced since straining his hamstring Aug. 4, but the Cowboys anticipate that he will be available for the Sept. 5 season opener against the New York Giants. The Cowboys are being especially cautious with Austin because he missed a total of six games due to separate hamstring strains last season.
"We're basically just wanting to make sure he's ready for New York," Jones said Tuesday on KRLD-FM. "That's where it's all headed for him. He probably will need some work, just logic tells you, before he gets in the game, but we're not interested in seeing him (play in the preseason).
"The risks of him getting out there and really competing at this time would I think be overruled (by) the game we have for him being completely healthy in New York. Now, I'm sure he'd be the first to tell you he could go if we were playing New York tonight, and we will have him as ready as he can be for that. So that's the plan."
Austin missed the final three preseason games last year due to a strained hamstring. He had his two best games of the season in the first two weeks, with five catches for 90 yards and a touchdown against the New York Jets and nine catches for 143 yards and three touchdowns against the San Francisco 49ers.
However, Austin aggravated the hamstring strain in the fourth quarter of the comeback win over the 49ers and missed the next two weeks. Austin missed four games later in the season after straining his other hamstring.
The Cowboys' top three weapons in the passing game are injured and unlikely to play any more in the preseason.
Tight end Jason Witten suffered a lacerated spleen in the preseason opener against the Oakland Raiders. The Cowboys should have a better idea about Witten's status for the season opener after re-evaluating him this week, following the prescribed seven to 10 days of rest.
An MRI on receiver Dez Bryant's knee Monday revealed that he has patellar tendinitis.
When asked Tuesday will he be ready for the Week 1 game against the Giants, Bryant said, "You know I'm going to play in New York, that's without a doubt."
Bryant isn't playing in Saturday night's preseason game at Cowboys Stadium and most likely is out for the preseason finale against Miami on August 29.
Team officials say Bryant is day to day regarding his return and he did some light running on Tuesday.
"It sounds like that he's going to be fine," Jones said of Bryant. "We'll see how it works. I would think he's probably going to be limited this weekend, but we were quite relieved that he doesn't have any structural damage in there."
Information from ESPNDallas.com's Calvin Watkins was used in this report.
15hEric D. Williams