IRVING, Texas – On Tuesday, the team with whom Brian Moorman had punted for 11 seasons told him his services were no longer needed. Just hours later, he received a call from Dallas.
The Cowboys were in the market for a punter after Chris Jones sprained his knee against Tampa Bay. Moorman had never missed a game after joining the Bills in 2001, but for the first time in his NFL career, the Kansas native will be punting for a new team.
"Anybody is surprised when they get cut," Moorman said. "Obviously, I've been there a long time and it is what it is. It's time to just kind of move on to a new chapter. I'm excited to be part of such a storied franchise, whether it's a short time or a long time. I'm just here to hopefully do as good as Chris as done over these last few weeks. He's done a great job, and I hope to continue that for the team."
Moorman described the last 48 hours as a whirlwind, departing Wednesday on a 6 a.m. flight for Dallas to try out for the coaches at Cowboys Stadium. For the first time in a long time, the 12-year veteran was competing for a job.
The former Buffalo punter earned the spot, and until Jones gets healthy, his duties will also include holding kicks for Dan Bailey.
"This is a locker room full of great guys, I can already tell," Moorman said. "But I left a lot of friends behind in the locker room in Buffalo, and I'm going to miss all of them. It's a little strange holding for a different kicker and all that stuff, but it's kind of like riding a bike."
Moorman and Bailey won't have much time to get accustomed to each other, but neither player said that should be an issue. Moorman said he will do whatever Bailey asks of him to make it as easy a transition as possible, but Bailey said there shouldn't be much to discuss.
"I'm really not too picky when it comes to stuff like that," Bailey said. "It's really just me picking his brain and him picking my brain and seeing what works and going from there."
Bailey said even though Moorman is a punter, he looks forward to learning from the veteran about what it takes to stay in the league as long as possible.
Not all punters or kickers have that luxury, as Jones might have feared after getting injured. He sprained his knee while getting rushed on a punt, and he could tell something didn't feel right immediately after.
"It felt more stiff than anything," Jones said. "I just think the fluid was starting to build, it was swelling a little bit, but I knew I had to kick. I knew I had to finish it."
Jones said he doesn't know how long he'll be out, but he's hoping he can return after the bye week. He said his knee already feels exponentially better than it did yesterday, and he's thrilled the Cowboys decided to keep him around.
He's just glad his knee wasn't torn.
"That was a big relief," Jones said. "That's six months minimum, more than likely. And possibly, depending how you come back from it, a career-ending deal."