OXNARD, Calif. - The starters' playing time in the preseason is now clearer heading into Monday night's game in Oakland.
Head coach Jason Garrett said the rotation will be consistent with years past, with the starters receiving eight to 12 snaps or one or two series. The starters' playing time will build the next two weeks entering the third preseason game.
The coaches have to balance the starter's preparedness with the assessment of the remaining players and the roles they may have.
"You're always evaluating the work, and you want to see them in a few different situations," Garrett said. "We want to build from Week 1 to Week 2 to Week 3. The flip side of that is we want to make sure we get a real good chance to see the young guys and evaluate them in a game situation."
The reserves will get the majority of looks Monday, and with 18 players injured at the beginning of this week, more substitutes will get extended opportunities in the game.
Garrett said he anticipates Miles Austin being ready to play at some point in the preseason. The third wide receiver spot is still a question mark, and until Austin returns, a plethora of wideouts will get increased chances, including Kevin Ogletree, Cole Beasley, Dwayne Harris and Andre Holmes.
Garrett has already said Austin's versatility to play outside or in the slot allows the Cowboys to keep the next best receiver.
"You have a little bit of a next-man-up philosophy with your football team, and you want to see how guys respond when they are that next man up," Garrett said. "If they can respond accordingly and show us what they can do." The Cowboys will participate in three preseason games before the Aug. 27 roster deduction to 75 players. The 53-man roster will be set Aug. 31, following the last preseason game on Aug. 29 against Miami.