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A Changing Of The Guard In Dallas

When the Cowboys signed veteran Pro Bowl guard Brian Waters, the BTB community breathed a sigh of relief. Now after being brought along slowly, it appears that Waters is ready to take over the starting role for the Cowboys.

Is this the week that Brian Waters takes over at right guard? The consensus seems to be "YES!"
Is this the week that Brian Waters takes over at right guard? The consensus seems to be "YES!"
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

Unless you have spent the past few years as part of an Antarctic expedition, you know that recently the performance of the Dallas Cowboys interior offensive linemen has been more than a little depressing. For this season, the team started by using a first-round selection on Travis Frederick, the best center available in 2013, and "redshirt rookie" Ron Leary emerged to claim the guard spot previously held by Nate Livings. That left one position, the guard slot held by Mackenzy Bernadeau, which had not seen an upgrade. Enter Brian Waters, who signed just prior to the start of the season.

Having been out of the game since the 2011 Super Bowl, the Cowboys had to bring him along slowly as he worked himself back into game shape. Waters was inactive for the opener and saw snaps in four series the following week. Last week, he and Bernadeau split the offensive snaps equally, with Bernie being the nominal starter. Now it seems that Waters will make the next step in his return to the game; on Wednesday indications were that he will be the starter at right guard when Dallas faces the San Diego Chargers on Sunday.

While the team, other than Jerry Jones, seems to be holding their cards closer to the vest, Waters himself indicated that the plans are for him to be ready to play the whole game against the Bolts.

"That’s the goal — to try to make it through a whole game," Waters said. "We’ll see how it goes. Obviously, Mack will be ready to go. I think we’re all confident he’ll be ready to go if anything happens so we’ll see how it goes." - Brian Waters

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Head coach Jason Garrett, in the manner which we have become accustomed to, managed to effectively dodge direct questions about Waters' status for Sunday.

"We haven’t made that determination – we just had the one practice yesterday," Garrett said. "We’ll continue to evaluate that as the week goes on. Brian has done a real nice job for us, and Mackenzy has to understand what that role is, whatever it might be, like he has the first couple of weeks. He’s done a good job of that, and we’ll see over the course of the next couple of days what we want to do." -Jason Garrett

To me, the "Mackenzy has to understand what that role is" phrase that Garrett used serves as the real message. Barring unforeseen issues, Garrett and offensive coordinator/offensive line coach Bill Callahan are ready to finalize the transition. With the ever increasing work load that Brian Waters has been seeing, combined with the fact that Waters is the guy getting all the work with the first team, it stands to reason that this weekend will be the time when Cowboys fans finally see the final piece of the upgrade being fully worked in to the offensive line. The changing of the guard (at least for 2013) appears to have been completed.

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