- Associated Press - Wednesday, August 18, 2010

OXNARD, CALIF. (AP) - Left guard Kyle Kosier limped off the practice field Wednesday morning, making it two hobbled offensive linemen this week for the Dallas Cowboys.

Cowboys coach Wade Phillips was expected to give details about the injury at his daily news conference. Dallas also has a second practice later in the afternoon.

Veteran Montrae Holland took Kosier’s place during the morning workout and would start if Kosier doesn’t return for the preseason game Saturday night in San Diego. Robert Brewster, a second-year player who missed all of last season with an injury, has been filling in at right tackle since Marc Colombo went down with a knee injury Sunday.

“It’s too bad,” offensive coordinator Jason Garrett said. “We certainly like Marc Colombo and Kyle Kosier and we want them out here practicing, but it gives other guys an opportunity to step up and show that they can do.”

Beyond the specific problem of getting Kosier healthy and adequately plugging the hole at left guard, the Cowboys also face the dilemma of taking on the Chargers with two backups mixed in with three incumbents on the line.

Is the reward of having Tony Romo work on his timing with Miles Austin, Roy Williams and Jason Witten worth the risk of him getting hurt by a missed block?

“We’ll have those discussions,” Garrett said. “We’re three preseason games in, but there’s still two more after this. So we’re going to steadily progress the starters, get them more work, and kind of figure out who is healthy enough to play and come up with those specifics in the next few days.”

By next weekend, these backups should be more comfortable on the first team. Brewster also might drop back to second team if offseason acquisition Alex Barron recovers from an ankle injury and takes over at right tackle. Holland also needs more work because a hamstring injury has kept him out of the first two preseason games.

“One of the things we preach to our players all the time is adversity _ there’s going to be a lot of different kinds of adversity and injuries is one of them,” Garrett said. “The backup players we have here have to step up and do their jobs, show they’re worthy of being starting players or prominent backup players on our football team.”

Holland is in his third season with Dallas and eighth in the NFL. He’s played 74 games, starting 48, including all in 2007 with Denver and two for Dallas in ‘08.

“The reason we have Montrae Holland on our football team is because if something happens to one of our interior guards, we have a guy who’s started games in the NFL and shown he can be an effective run blocker and pass blocker,” Garrett said.

Colombo had arthroscopic surgery Monday to remove five loose particles. He’s expected to miss only two weeks and to start the season opener.

Colombo’s injury fueled questions about whether a line featuring four guys in their 30s was too much of a risk. Kosier’s injury strengthens the argument that the group is too old, making them too susceptible to injury.

Team owner Jerry Jones insisted experience is more important, especially for a team that’s expected to be a contender. Line coach Hudson Houck agrees, noting that “those things happen whether you’re young or old.”

“Now, with Kyle out, we’ve lowered our average age. Is that good?” Houck said. “No, let’s get him back in there and get that age up.”