Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said quarterback Tony Romo and the first-team offense will get more than the 11 snaps they received in Monday’s 3-0 win at Oakland when the starting offense struggled.
Garrett said he plans to “inch that up a little bit” in Saturday’s game against San Diego to get Romo some more opportunities. That probably translates to Romo playing until early in the second quarter.
But Garrett acknowledged that the absence of Miles Austin (hamstring) and Jason Witten (spleen) as primary targets, compounded by an injury-riddled offensive line, could impact how long he keeps Romo in the game.
“We certainly wouldn’t put him out there with people we weren’t comfortable blocking in front of him,” Garrett said. “I think the issues with the skill guys, with (no) Wittten and Miles, those are opportunities for other guys to play. So we’re excited to see how (young receivers) play up, so to speak. We would never put Tony or anybody out there where we felt like there was a situation where they could get hurt. We don’t think that’s the case right now.”
Garrett said a similar usage plan is surfacing on defense, where there is a lack of depth at inside linebacker.
“Sean Lee and Bruce Carter and Dan Connor won’t be playing that long into this game. They’ll probably play into the second quarter,” Garrett said, adding that the rest of the game will be handled by serves whose ranks have depleted this week with injuries to Kyle Wilber (broken thumb) and Caleb McSurdy (torn Achilles).
_ Jimmy Burch