Jason Garrett rests some veterans as others heal

IRVING, Texas -- The Cowboys were without 18 players for Tuesday’s organized team activity either because of injury or rest.

For Miles Austin, Jason Hatcher and Jay Ratliff, it was a day of rest. For Anthony Spencer and Nate Livings, it was a time off to recover from sore knees.

“Guys have worked hard in the offseason program, and we’ve had near 100 percent at it since the offseason program started and have had it with the OTAs,” coach Jason Garrett said. “Our job as coaches is to put guys in the right situation. You want to make sure they learn all the installation necessary, but you also want to keep them fresh, healthy and ready to go as we finish up the offseason as we go into training camp.”

Austin has a history of hamstring injuries, so any absence raises an eyebrow. Ratliff has not taken part in full OTAs open to the media and had sports hernia surgery late last season. Livings had an offseason surgery on his knee and aggravated it during last week’s OTA. Spencer’s injury is not considered serious.

Safeties Will Allen (hamstring), Danny McCray and Jakar Hamilton, tackle Jermey Parnell (hamstring), and cornerback Malik James did not practice. DeMarcus Ware and Mackenzy Bernadeau went through individual work as they continue to rehab from offseason shoulder surgeries.