IRVING, Texas – The Cowboys have four new players since last week, but the latest signing is drawing the most attention, especially in Jason Garrett's press conference Wednesday.
The head coach talked for nearly 10 minutes about the addition of veteran guard Brian Waters, who signed with the club late Tuesday night.
Garrett addressed many questions about the move, stemming from Waters' availability for Sunday to his currently playing conditions to the domino effect that now occurs with the rest of the offensive line.
- Garrett actually was a former teammate of Waters for the 1999 training camp when Waters was a rookie fullback/tight end and the veteran quarterback was in his last year with the Cowboys.
- "Brian is a guy we've been interested in a while," Garrett said. "I actually talked about him a couple of years ago when he ended up signing up there in New England. I've followed him and I've known him. He was a free agent tight end with the Cowboys many years ago. Certainly went on to have a great career in Kansas City. Decided to bring him in here. He's a real pro. He's played at a very high level in this league for a long time. Had conversations with him throughout training camp. Excited to have him on board."
- The head coach addresses his readiness to play after a Tuesday workout that was quite impressive. "Oftentimes you watch guys on tape and say, 'I like that guy.' But the tape you are watching happened a year ago. And so we had to make sure he was in the kind of shape necessary to sign and be a viable player on an NFL team this year. He had been working out. We talked to him throughout training camp. And we got a chance to see him work out at Valley Ranch here (Tuesday). It was a hot day. He did a good job in the workout. He still has to get himself in shape to play at this level, and that's just natural. It's hard to, regardless of what you are doing, it's hard to get yourself ready and then play. So, he has worked very hard. He's a pro, no question about that. He knows what he is doing. He learns quickly and we anticipate him really hitting the ground running and being a part of our football team here pretty soon."
- Garrett touched on the ripple effect of the line after the Waters signing. "Again, we've had some issues on the offensive line from an injury standpoint throughout training camp and that's why we've had some interest in him, just to make sure we shore up that area. We did put Nate Livings on injured reserve so he's not going to be available. So we felt it was important for us to get another guy in here. We'll see how Brian does really in practice today and see what kind of progress he can make and just put him into the mix.
- Garrett stayed away from the question about Waters' availability to play Sunday. "We'll just try to get through today. He hasn't been on the practice field with our team yet. So he got here early this morning and he's trying to learn as quickly as he can. We'll try to get him acclimated as soon as we can and just see what kind of progress he makes."
- Garrett didn't seem to have concerns about a guy who was out of football for 18 months. "We just wanted to know what the story was and why he didn't play last year, and there was some family concerns that he had," Garrett said. "He's not much heavier than his normal playing weight, which we thought was a very positive thing. You just wanted to see where he was, where he was from an emotional standpoint to come make the commitment to be an NFL player again. His pride as a football player showed up throughout his career in Kansas City. He was one of the best linemen in the National Football League for a long time." [embedded_ad]
- Garrett didn't say exactly where Waters would start out on the line, but he's played mostly right guard. "Well, he's played right most recently in New England. He's comfortable playing on both sides. He's a veteran guys who's done a lot of things throughout his career. Again, we just want to get him acclimated. He's been here for a couple of hours, so get him out on the practice field, get him moving around and see how he responds to the work."