The Cowboys have apparently reached an agreement with Brandon Moore
Moore's deal with the Cowboys will be done tonight. He'll fit in well with what offensive coordinator Bill Callahan is implementing there— Jason La Canfora (@JasonLaCanfora) August 7, 2013
Well that didn't take long. On their first day of practice following the first foray into the preseason, it appears that the Cowboys are not satisfied with the rotation along the interior of their offensive line. Several sources have reported that Dallas has discussed a contact with free agent right guard Brandon Moore, most recently of the New York Jets. Dallas Morning News has now reported that the team is also considering signing Brian Waters as an alternative.
Sources: Cowboys have had discussions with Brandon Moore and Brian Waters and hope to sign one immediately.— David Moore (@DavidMooreDMN) August 7, 2013
Moore would follow up that tweet with the info that Waters is the team's first choice and that Brandon Moore is the fallback option.
The question that arises, of course, is what does this mean for the current players in rotation at the guard position?
- Ron Leary's spot on the team is safe. As a second-year player, he's been running with the first team and appears to have had the best offseason of all the contenders. His conditioning displeased Garrett though, after he played 62 snaps. The coach did seem to speak of him in terms of being a projected starter.
- Nate Livings has re-injured his knee and the team currently doesn't know how much of an issue it could be throughout the season. He is out two to four weeks after recently having a second surgery in six months. Livings entire 2013 salary ($1.7m) is guaranteed per his original deal, with $2.8m in prorated signing bonus remaining. From all I know, there is no injury settlement option here because of the guaranteed salary.
- Mackenzy Bernadeau returned today from a hamstring injury suffered on camp's first day during the conditioning drill. He immediately returned to his spot as the first-team right guard. Bernadeau was restructured in the offseason, but his remaining base salary might not have been guaranteed.
- David Arkin started the Hall of Fame game at right guard and showed development over where he's been the last few years. Of course, the last two years he hasn't even been on the radar. Reports from this morning's press conference inferred that Garrett wasn't impressed with Arkin's performance.
- Ryan Cook plays several positions along the line, but carries a $1m cap hit with little consequence to cutting him.
- Kevin Kowalski is out with a bruised knee. Centers Phil Costa and Travis Frederick have also been spending time at guard in practice with the 2nd and 3rd teams.
From my point of view, it appears that Dallas is willing to do anything to ensure that Travis Frederick stays at center, now and forever. Waters and Frederick appear to be options along those lines.
Brian Waters has not played in the NFL since the 2011 season. Prior to that year, Dallas flirted with the idea of bringing him in, but decided not to. Waters instead signed with New England and proceeded to make the Pro Bowl. Reportedly, Waters wanted to play in his home state of Texas and refused to rejoin the Patriots in 2012. They even offered to triple his salary, yet he refused. Unwilling to let him play for another, New England retained his rights while he sat out all of 2012. They recently relented and made him a free agent.
Waters 2011 season was outstanding. Playing in 19 games, he only allowed 2 sacks and 16 quarterback pressures total. His PFF grade of +26.4 ranked him as the 4th best guard in the league. He made the Pro Bowl that season, his sixth career selection. He is also a two-time First Team All-Pro ('04, '05). The concern is Waters' age, 36, and the fact that he's been away from the game for an entire season at that age.
Brandon Moore is most famous for being the butt in the Mark Sanchez butt fumble from 2012 blooper reels and Sportscenter clips. Moore is 33 years old and is coming off a very good season in his own right. He only allowed 2 sacks and 20 total pressures per PFF, earning a cumulative game grade of +21.8. Moore has spent his entire 10 year career in New York, including working under Cowboys OC Bill Callahan from 2008-2011. He also enjoyed a trip to the 2011 Pro Bowl, his lone selection.
So, if the Cowboys plan to move immediately, it will be interesting to see which direction they move. I wonder what could be the determining factor here..
BMoore vs BWaters? 'Talent-wise, it's a wash,' #Cowboys source tells me. Therefore, $ talk in play for new OG— mike fisher (@fishsports) August 7, 2013
Well, there it is. Stay tuned, ladies and gents.. this offensive line situation is getting moore and moore interesting by the second; the water's are showing plenty of ripples.
Sorry, couldn't resist.