ARLINGTON, Texas – Dez Bryant missed his third straight preseason game Saturday against the Minnesota Vikings as the Cowboys continue to be deliberate with the All-Pro receiver's return from a hamstring injury that sidelined him for part of training camp.
This past Wednesday, Bryant took his first team drill reps in practice since straining his hamstring Aug. 6. He had limited participation in Thursday's final training camp practice in Oxnard.
"Just didn't think it was worth having him play eight, 10 plays in this ballgame," head coach Jason Garrett said. "We didn't practice yesterday. He got today (to rest); he warmed up before the game. He'll have tomorrow; we don't practice until Monday night. So we'll take him day by day and just make sure that we give him every chance to be healthy when he comes back."
It's uncertain how Garrett plans to use his starters in Thursday's preseason finale against Houston. If Bryant doesn't play in five days, he'll have more than two full weeks to get ready for the Cowboys' Sept. 13 regular-season season opener against the New York Giants.
With Bryant sidelined Saturday, Terrance Williams was the Cowboys' lead receiver for the first few series and caught a 60-yard touchdown pass from Tony Romo in the second quarter. Cole Beasley moved into the starting lineup and had one catch for six yards.