A few months ago, the question that was most frequently asked among Dallas Cowboys fans was: Can Jerry coax Brian Waters back into the game? Of course, that answer was yes. Even knowing that Waters was a short-term fix for a point of weakness on the Cowboys roster, fans were elated, and the eight-time Pro Bowl guard rewarded our elation with quality play. Unfortunately, that came to an end when he suffered a torn triceps during the loss to the Detroit Lions. Even though Waters was in favor of trying rehab in an attempt to return to the field, the Cowboys front office made the decision to place him on injured reserve and brought to a close Brian's 2013 season, and perhaps his career.
It's not that the team wants his career to be over; Jason Garrett, the Dallas head coach, has stated that he is certainly in favor of Waters playing for the Cowboys in 2014. The question is, will Brian Waters, who turns 37 in February, decide that it is in the best interests of him and his family for him to return to the game. Waters has stated that leaving on his terms, rather than on injured reserve, will factor into that choice. Let's face it, no athlete wants to walk away due to an injury.
Still Waters doesn't want his pride to force him in to a bad decision.
“Whatever decision I make is going to be a long, drawn-out process, like it always is. But sometimes you have to put your pride aside and do what is best for yourself. Sometimes we can be our own worst enemy. I have to make sure I’m doing what’s smart. And obviously I’m going to talk to the medical people and make sure medically, whatever decision I make, it’s the right decision.” - Brian Waters
As of yet, Waters has not had the surgery that will be necessary for him to return to football, but he has indicated that he most likely will have the procedure done. For him it is going to be a choice regarding his quality of life and will not be determined by his desire to return to the field. Once the surgery is done, Brian is going to face a five month process of rehabilitation. Only then will he know for sure what he intends to do.
“I’m just trying to make it through this particular phase of this process and making a decision whether to have surgery or not and figuring out a timeline on that; then I’ll worry about that next situation after I go through the rehab and all of that stuff and figure out where I am physically.”
While I am sure that the Cowboys front office would love to have a clear commitment from Waters, even if he chooses to wait until after camp to actually report to the team, it should not have a drastic impact on their off season actions. The team needs to address the interior offensive line situation no matter what. What would be ideal, would be for the team to have Waters around for another year to serve as a mentor for his replacement. I have said all along that one of Brian Waters' biggest contributions to this team was going to be what he brings off the field. I hope that the team is able to keep him around in some capacity, he is far too valuable of a resource to let get away.