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Preseason Opener All About the Receivers

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Dez Bryant has an injured hamstring.

    This should not be surprising news. The only surprising news in Cowboys camp is when a player actually gets through an entire day without getting injured or insulted by ownership for getting injured.

    Seeing as how he was able to practice with the team on Sunday, Bryant's hamstring issue doesn't seem to be as severe as the one hampering Miles Austin. It isn't the kind of injury that you want to push at this point in the season, especially when Bryant's history is filled with examples of injuries lingering like a bad smell in a confined space.

    That means Monday night's long-awaited preseason opener is going to provide plenty of opportunities to the other wide receivers trying to carve out roles on the offense. Kevin Ogletree is considered to be the frontrunner for the third receiver spot at this point, although Andre Holmes, Dwayne Harris, Cole Beasley and others haven't been eliminated from the race.

    That group isn't just competing against itself, though. As last week's Plaxico Burress hullabaloo illustrated, there are other fish in the sea and the prospect of what they could add to the offense is as much of a competitor in this race as any of the players listed above.

    Usually, the biggest goal of the first preseason game is for the team to remain healthy because only a fool would make grand decisions based on a game played mostly by backups and guys who will be adding to the unemployment rolls in a few weeks. That's not the case for these receivers, though. They will have to prove that there's no need to look for outside help because the guys on hand can handle the job.

    If the Cowboys are going to look outside the organization, they need to do it relatively soon so that they aren't playing catch up once the season gets underway. It will take time to figure out the offense, shake off rust and all that other good stuff, so it would behoove the Cowboys to come to a conclusion as soon as possible.

    Accomplishing that and keeping one of the few remaining healthy Cowboys from getting carted off the field would make Monday night a success regardless of the score.