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Eatman: Addition Of Guard Not Sounding Like A Sure Thing

Posted Aug 15, 2013

OXNARD, Calif. – For the last week or so, there has been a perception about the Cowboys adding veteran guard Brian Waters.

For the most part, it’s been a matter of “when” and not “if.”

But as the Cowboys close up shop here at training camp in Oxnard, it’s starting to sound as if the club might be content to play this season with the guards they have, despite the recent injury to guard Ron Leary. Owner Jerry Jones said he expects Leary to be back in time for the Sept. 8 opener with the Giants and views him as a starter.

Cowboys officials said there are no current talks with Waters, a 36-year-old veteran who hasn’t played since 2011. Sure, the Cowboys tried to get veteran Brandon Moore to sign two weeks ago but he chose to stay retired. And yes, they’ve also had discussions with Waters.

“I think you’ve got to always remember that it takes, when you talk about go, do someone or go sign somebody, it takes agreement to get that done,” Jerry Jones said Thursday. “That’s very important as we got involved with Brandon there. All these guys have, and usually very good ones, but they have a reason they’re not at a training camp right now.”

But while it appeared Waters had no interest to come to training camp, he might have more hesitations about playing at all. From the sound of things, the Cowboys have not had recent talks with Waters or his agent and are staying focused with the players currently on the roster.

“We’re always going to do what we can to improve the quality of the football team, at any position,” head coach Jason Garrett said.

And that’s about all Garrett would say about the potential signing of a veteran guard such as Waters.

Who knows, maybe things change dramatically once they get closer to the start of the season. Don’t forget Waters signed with the Patriots on Sept. 3, 2011 and ended up making the Pro Bowl – his sixth of his career. So it’s definitely possible the two sides could come to an agreement on a contract as the regular season gets closer.

Until then, or if it ever happens, the Cowboys must be prepared to play this guard spot from within. The Cowboys are hopeful backups Kevin Kowalski (knee) and Ray Dominguez (shoulder) should get back into the rotation soon.

Leary could be out 2-3 weeks from the arthroscopic surgery on his right knee. That’s the same procedure Nate Livings had two weeks ago and he should be getting closer to a return. There is still a chance Livings plays in the preseason but for Leary, it’s likely his next action will occur in the regular season.

Mackenzy Bernadeau will likely stay on the right side at guard, anchored by David Arkin at left.

“(Arkin) has done a good job. He’s grown each of the years he’s been with us,” Garrett said. “He works very hard at it. He has some position flex inside because he’s played so many different spots -- right side, left side, he’s played some center for us as well. He’s working hard, trying to get better. He’s the kind of guy that you want because it’s really important to him.”

His development is rather important to the Cowboys, too. Especially since they don’t seem to be in a hurry to add a veteran, despite their injury woes at the position.

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