Dallas Cowboys: Brandon Moore

Should Cowboys try to keep Brian Waters?

February, 18, 2014
IRVING, Texas -- Brian Waters, who is set to hit free agency after a seven-game run at right guard for the Dallas Cowboys in 2013, turns 37 years old Tuesday.

Will he play in 2014?

If he wants to, then he will. That is the question Waters has not answered and likely will not answer until well into the offseason.

He has yet to have surgery on a torn triceps that knocked him out for the season, but even if he does have the operation he said in December that would not mean he will play in 2014. He talked the day after the season about needing the surgery just for quality of life.


Should the Cowboys try to keep Brian Waters?


Discuss (Total votes: 2,376)

Waters started five games for the Cowboys and played in seven at right guard. Jason Garrett talked about Waters’ presence changing the offensive line. He brought a toughness and diligence to the group.

At this stage in his career, Waters does not want to go through the rigors of an offseason program and training camp. He and the Cowboys went back and forth last summer and the Cowboys were ready to move on to Brandon Moore until he opted not to get on a plane to Oxnard, Calif.

Waters eventually signed a one-year deal worth $1.5 million and more from incentives, joining the Cowboys on Sept. 4, 2013. He was active for the second week of the season. He moved into the starting role Sept. 29 against the San Diego Chargers and held it until he tore his triceps against the Detroit Lions.

Waters did enough in 2013 to show he can still play. Maybe not at the All-Pro level he once played, but certainly good enough for a team to win games with him. But he is 37.

Should the Cowboys re-sign him if he wants to play?

5 Wonders: Look at a possible trade

August, 27, 2013
IRVING, Texas – The Cowboys have one more preseason game to go, Thursday against Houston, but since they’re not playing their starters, we’re not wondering much about what will happen.

This week’s Five Wonders touches on a potential trade decision, Jason Witten's blocking as well as Tony Romo’s accuracy.

On to the Wonders:

Stretch Smith joins Galloway and Company to discuss five positive and five negative things he took away from the Cowboys' fourth preseason game.

Listen Listen
** Let’s talk trade. Not a big trade, but just something I’m wondering about with the Cowboys as they start the process of trimming the roster and possibly looking at players from other teams. I wonder if the Cowboys could look to move defensive end Sean Lissemore. This isn’t to say they should trade him or that he has had a poor camp and won’t get a spot on the 53-man roster. Lissemore signed a four-year extension with the Cowboys that included $3.17 million in guaranteed money last season. I think he’s a good, solid role player. He just might not be the best fit for a 4-3 defense. The Cowboys need help on the offensive line, but to expect major moves at this time of the year is just not realistic. You’re talking about acquiring a player like Ryan Cook, who was picked up last year from Miami a week before the season for a seventh-round pick. Lissemore’s age, friendly contract and ability to play a couple of spots might be able to bring some value in return to the Cowboys where they need it most.

** Jason Witten set a record for catches by tight ends in a season with 110 last year. Even more remarkable is the fact that he had only eight catches after the first three games. But I wonder if the Cincinnati game is a sign that things might change in 2013. Of Tony Romo’s 18 passes against the Bengals, Witten stayed in pass protection eight times. That’s a high percentage. With his backups, James Hanna, Gavin Escobar and Dante Rosario, not known for their blocking perhaps Witten will find himself helping the line more than he has in the past. Over the last five seasons Witten has averaged 92 catches a year. In 2011 he caught 79 passes for 942 yards and five touchdowns. While still a very good season, those are not typical Witten numbers, but I wonder if that is the neighborhood he will be in this year.

** Tony Romo is something of a tech-junkie. The quarterback kind, anyway. He likes to tinker with his mechanics the way a golfer tinkers with his swing in an attempt to find a better release point, better footwork, better whatever. Romo has hinted at arm angle changes this summer that have been able to hold up in his work in the preseason. He completed 72 percent of his preseason passes (26 of 36 in three games). And it wasn’t like he was throwing a ton of short throws to Jason Witten or his running backs. So I’m wondering if Romo will set a career high in completion percentage this season. His previous best for a full season is 66.3% in 2011. He completed 69.5% in five-plus games in 2010 before a broken collarbone ended his season. Troy Aikman holds the Cowboys’ team record at 69.1% in 1993.

** I wonder if the Cowboys are putting too much faith in Ronald Leary. This has nothing to do with Leary’s ability to return rather quickly from a knee scope or not. This has to do with Leary having not played in a game yet and the fact that he was an undrafted free agent a year ago who spent most of the season on the practice squad. Leary was decent in his preseason work before needing the surgery but the Cowboys’ flirtations with Brandon Moore and Brian Waters were about Leary, at least to a degree. Leary might be the Cowboys’ best option but the bar should be higher than comparing him to Nate Livings.

** Through four preseason games the Cowboys have nine takeaways: five interceptions and four fumbles. Last year the Cowboys forced only 16 turnovers on the season. They had nine in their first nine games. I wonder how many games it will take the Cowboys this season to force nine turnovers. The ability to turn the emphasis of taking the ball away into actually taking the ball away is impressive. The Cowboys did similar drills with Rob Ryan, Paul Pasqualoni, Wade Phillips, Brian Stewart and Mike Zimmer at defensive coordinator but they were hardly ever able to see the fruits of that work during games. The quarterbacks the Cowboys face in the first four games of the season – Eli Manning, Alex Smith, Sam Bradford and Philip Rivers - threw 48 interceptions last season. Smith has thrown just 10 picks in his last 25 starts and is playing for a new coach in Kansas City.
IRVING, Texas – It’d test first-round pick Travis Frederick’s ample brainpower just to remember the names of all the guards who have lined up beside him with the Cowboys' starters since training camp began.

The list: Mackenzy Bernadeau, Nate Livings, Ronald Leary, David Arkin, Kevin Kowalski and Doug Free. Plus, Frederick got a fair amount of guard reps himself with Phil Costa playing center. And the Cowboys are still in the market for a veteran starting guard after their on-the-cheap attempts to sign Brandon Moore and Brian Waters ended up unsuccessful.

So much for establishing continuity on the offensive line, huh? But leave it to an All-Academic Big Ten selection who needed only three years to graduate with a chemical engineering degree to find an intellectual silver lining.

“There’s something to be said about building continuity, but I think there’s also something to be said about switching everybody in and out,” Frederick said. “The way that I kind of explain it is putting gears together in a machine.

“You have all these gears, and if you have all the gears built the same, the machine works well. If one gear is just a little bit different than the other ones, you’re going to slip every once in a while. So if you can get everybody to be that gear that’s the right way, you mold everybody the same way, you switch everybody in and out so that everybody’s doing the same things, then wherever you plug in, the gears all work together.”

That’s a heck of an analogy, but unfortunately, all of the gears on the Cowboys’ offensive line aren’t built the same. And all the switching in and out certainly isn’t by design, especially this week desperation move of giving Free the first guard reps of his life.

Ideally, the starting offensive line would have worked together from the beginning of camp through the preseason. That’s just not reality for the Cowboys, whose injury issues at guard have complicated the competition for those jobs.

That’s why the Cowboys are in an experimental phase entering their dress rehearsal Saturday against the Bengals.

“At the end of it, we want to play our best five guys,” head coach Jason Garrett said. “We’ve got to figure out who they are and what the best combination is. We want them in their ideal spots, but if this group of five is better than that group of five, in these spots, then we should go ahead and do that.”

Are recent moves Jerry Jones' handiwork?

August, 21, 2013

IRVING, Texas -- The Cowboys have made some interesting lineup changes in the last few days.

On Wednesday, the team worked starting right tackle Doug Free at right guard and moved right guard Mackenzy Bernadeau to left guard. Jermey Parnell moved from second-team right tackle to the first team.

In the third preseason game, fifth-round running back Joseph Randle played the entire second half over Phillip Tanner, and quarterback Alex Tanney played the second half over Nick Stephens. Demetress Bell played at right tackle in the second half of the Arizona game over Parnell.

Are the following changes coming from the general manager, Jerry Jones, or from the head coach, Jason Garrett?

Garrett was asked whether the front office decided to play Randle ahead of Tanner for the third preseason game.

"Collective decision," Garrett responded Monday. "We wanted to see Joseph Randle and we wanted to hand Joseph Randle the ball and see what he’s been doing. Phillip has done a really nice job for us both on offense and on (special) teams. We've seen him the last couple of years and we wanted to give the young guy a chance to play. Phillip always responds the right way to the stuff he’s been in."

Tanner said he's a "company guy" and isn't concerned about Randle getting more snaps than him in preseason games. In the big picture, the Cowboys will probably keep four running backs, but Tanner will become mainly a special-teams guy.

As for the quarterbacks, Garrett said that because Tanney was signed after the offseason workouts, the Cowboys wanted to see him get an entire half of action.

Jones said the Cowboys needed to play Bell after he missed three weeks of training camp practices. Garrett said Bell missed practices because he was overweight.

The moves Wednesday could be, as Garrett said, "collective," because the team is concerned that injured left guards Nate Livings and Ronald Leary might miss the regular-season opener. If the Cowboys release Livings, the team takes a $2.4 million salary-cap hit.

After getting rebuffed by Brandon Moore and reaching a dead end with Brian Waters, the Cowboys' quest for veteran interior O-line help has been halted. It seems the Cowboys are going to stick with this current group and will shuffle some personnel. Is Jones or Garrett making this decision ?

The GM has the right to decide who plays on the field during the preseason and in some cases the regular season. Garrett and Jones are believed to be on the same page regarding this; it's just interesting to note the moves and who could be directing them.

California Wrap: Todd Archer

August, 18, 2013
After 21 practices or walkthroughs in Oxnard, Calif., ESPN Dallas’ Calvin Watkins, Todd Archer and Tim MacMahon hand out their training camp awards and disappointments.

Best player, offense: Dez Bryant was dominant from the first day of practice through the end, making a highlight grab just about every session. It was the continuation of what Bryant did to close the 2012 season and whets the appetite for what he could do in 2013.

Best player, offense, not named Dez Bryant: Jason Witten is entering his 11th season and is coming off an NFL record for tight ends with 110 catches. He does not appear to be slowing down. The Cowboys’ move to more of a zone-blocking scheme helps him in the run game, and he showed he will be more of a factor in the red zone as well.

Best player, defense: Like Bryant on offense, DeMarcus Ware was dominant on the defensive side of the ball. Tyron Smith will be glad when the season starts so he does not have to see Ware on a daily basis. The move to defensive end agrees with Ware, and he looks poised for another double-digit sack season.

Best player, defense, not named DeMarcus Ware: Ware is the defense’s best player, but Sean Lee is the conscience. Like Ware, the move to the 4-3 might make Lee more of a playmaker and free him to roam from sideline to sideline. The toe injury that limited him to six games last season is not a worry. It’s time for him to take the Pro Bowl step.

Best rookie: Easy answer here: Travis Frederick. The Cowboys caught some grief for taking Frederick in the first round, but, after a couple of weeks, Jason Garrett said he was as smart a young lineman as he has been around, and Tony Romo said he will be a player for a long time.

As The Cowboys break camp in Oxnard, ESPN Dallas.com's Todd Archer offers his thoughts on the positives and negatives from camp.

Listen Listen
Biggest surprise: Even if Jermey Parnell was healthy during all of training camp, Doug Free would have won the right tackle spot. He has been more solid as a pass-blocker than he was last season and showed the ability to move in space. He looks more like the Free who excelled in 2010 than the one who struggled badly in 2012.

Biggest disappointment: For the second straight summer, Jay Ratliff was been a spectator in Oxnard. He was hurt in the conditioning test and is still recovering from December sports hernia surgery. The Cowboys are banking on him being a key piece in their defensive switch, but being unable to practice is not a positive.

Biggest question answered: I just mentioned Ratliff has not practiced. Anthony Spencer has missed time with knee surgery. Morris Claiborne has a knee injury. Tyrone Crawford is done for the season with an Achilles tear. That’s not good, but the defense looks primed to be a difference-maker under Monte Kiffin. It’s too much to say dominant right now but definitely one that will create takeaways.

Biggest question remaining: This is as easy as the Frederick answer: the offensive line. Free, Smith and Frederick have looked good, but the guard spots are a question. Mackenzy Bernadeau has not earned raves from the coaches and Nate Livings and Ronald Leary are recovering from knee surgeries. Continuity up front looks like an issue again.

Best moment: Bill Callahan will be under pressure as the playcaller this season. Will the Cowboys be more balanced on offense? Maybe. Callahan showed a lot of guts early in training camp in situational work with the offense at the 2-yard line with less than 10 seconds left and trailing 24-20 by calling a DeMarco Murray run. Murray ran his way for a touchdown, and it was a definite tone-setter for how the Cowboys want to run the ball in 2013.

Jerry: Injury doesn't change OL urgency

August, 15, 2013
OXNARD, Calif. -- Jerry Jones disagrees with the notion that Brian Waters’ price tag has gone up now that Ronald Leary will have surgery on Friday on his right knee.

The Dallas Cowboys owner and general manager said he expects Leary to be ready for the Sept. 8 regular-season opener against the New York Giants. Jones would not discuss the status of the talks regarding Waters.

ESPN NFL Insider Ed Werder joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett for his weekly segment to discuss the latest on Tom Brady's injury and Cowboys training camp in Oxnard.

Listen Listen
“In my mind because of the nature of Leary’s injury, he really should be back the first week (so) it hasn’t changed any urgency we had, or our situation with Waters one way or the other,” Jones said. “It’s not that we didn’t have a real feel that we wanted to get him or Brandon (Moore) in here to begin with. We did. I wouldn’t say that’s changed by any degree.”

Jones has expressed a desire to have a more veteran presence on the interior of the line, especially with Nate Livings recovering from knee surgery and Mackenzy Bernadeau unable to practice early in camp.

Leary has been one of Jones’ favorites since the Cowboys signed him as an undrafted free agent in 2012. To Jones, Leary is a starter.

“I don’t want to go that far but he’s a starter in my mind,” Jones said when asked if Leary had won the job already. “There’s still competition out here and I don’t want to take away from competition. But he’s shown us he can be a starter.”

Jones also praised the entire interior of the line in Leary, Travis Frederick and Bernadeau.

“You’re just seeing a base,” Jones said. “You don’t have the sense of getting pushed back. There’s just strength there in the middle. We’ve got work to do but that’s what you’re feeling with those guys out there.”

Cowboys hope Leary can make quick return

August, 15, 2013
OXNARD, Calif. -- The typical recovery from arthroscopic surgery is two to four weeks, but the Dallas Cowboys believe left guard Ronald Leary will need closer to two weeks than four once he has the operation on his right knee Friday.

ESPN NFL Insider Ed Werder joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett for his weekly segment to discuss the latest on Tom Brady's injury and Cowboys training camp in Oxnard.

Listen Listen
“We don’t think it’s too serious,” coach Jason Garrett said. “We think it can get cleaned up and he can get back on the practice field in a couple of weeks. We take those things day by day, and hopefully it is what we think it is and we’ll get it resolved.”

If it takes two weeks, then Leary would miss the final two preseason games against Cincinnati (Aug. 24) and Houston (Aug. 29), but it would allow him at least seven days of practice leading into the Sept. 8 regular-season opener against the New York Giants.

It is a setback for a line that has not been able to build continuity throughout the summer because of injuries. Last year’s starting left guard, Nate Livings, is recovering from knee surgery. Right guard Mackenzy Bernadeau missed the early part of training camp with a hamstring injury suffered in the conditioning test.

Jermey Parnell, Demetress Bell, Ryan Cook, Kevin Kowalski and Ray Dominguez have also missed time because of injuries.

“We just keep moving on,” offensive line coach/offensive coordinator Bill Callahan said. “I’m used to this. Don’t blink. Don’t flinch. Keep moving.”

But Callahan feels bad for Leary, who took most of the first-team reps in the offseason because of Livings’ absence due to a sore knee.

“He was really making tremendous progress,” Callahan said. “We just want to pick up where he left off when he comes back. He showed a lot of promise. He’s a guy who can fill that position well. We’re two guards down at that spot, we’ll have to see what we do going forward. We really haven’t finalized anything.”

The Cowboys have been linked to Brian Waters once the deal for veteran Brandon Moore fell apart, but the waiting game continues.

Offensive line fixes are complex

August, 15, 2013
OXNARD, Calif. -- Bill Callahan strolled off the practice fields Tuesday with a lot on his mind.

He's trying to coach the current group of offensive line players on the Cowboys and make sure he's got the offense going in the right direction as the offensive coordinator.

ESPN NFL Insider Ed Werder joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett for his weekly segment to discuss the latest on Tom Brady's injury and Cowboys training camp in Oxnard.

Listen Listen
The direction of the offense overall seems OK after two preseason games, but the offensive line isn't.

Ronald Leary is the latest offensive linemen to go down with an injury. The left guard will undergo minor surgery on his knee, putting his status for the 2013 season opener against the New York Giants in doubt.

This summer, the Cowboys have lost Mackenzy Bernadeau, Nate Livings, Kevin Kowalski, Ryan Cook, Ray Dominguez and now Leary to some sort of injury.

The projected starters at guard have health issues.

In a desperate move, the team offered a contract to Brian Waters, who hasn't played in over a year. This offer came after Brandon Moore backed out of a deal with the team to retire.

Waters is a Pro Bowl guard, but who knows what type of shape he's in and if he can quickly morph into a starter without significant training camp practices.

Livings got hurt early in training camp and underwent minor knee surgery. There's talk about cutting Livings and just absorbing $1.7 million against the salary cap. Currently, the Cowboys have just a shade over $7 million in cap space available. Stephen Jones likes to have salary cap space to play with during the season to sign a veteran in case of injury.

He might have to do it.

Leary was having a solid camp until his injury. Kowalski was battling David Arkin for a backup spot at right guard before injuries ended the fight. The competition between the two is split, but it wasn't good enough to give the Cowboys a comfort level of starting them in a regular season game.

So here we are with injuries for an offensive line that's supposed to protect a $100 million quarterback in Tony Romo.

Second-guessing the Cowboys' decisions not to sign Carl Nicks and Ben Grubbs in free agency last year would be unfair. The Cowboys grabbed Livings, a productive starter with the Bengals, and Bernadeau, a talented player with the Panthers, in free agency that year. The price paid to Livings and Bernadeau was nearly a combined $30 million. Grubbs signed a five-year $35 million deal with the New Orleans Saints to replace Nicks, who signed with Tampa Bay.

Solutions for this fix are complex.

The Cowboys could increase their offer to Waters, move rookie center Travis Frederick to one of the guard spots and insert last year's starting center, Phil Costa, back to the first team. If you move Frederick, do you stunt his development? Do you weaken the center spot by moving Costa there over Frederick?

The third preseason game is Saturday afternoon in Glendale, Ariz., and the Cowboys' projected starters for the first-team offensive line are as follows: left tackle Tyron Smith, left guard Arkin, center Frederick, right guard Bernadeau and right tackle Doug Free.

Gives you confidence?

More OL woes: Ronald Leary set for surgery

August, 14, 2013
OXNARD, Calif. -- Ronald Leary will undergo arthroscopic surgery on his right knee on Friday, continuing a summer long issue for the Dallas Cowboys' offensive line.

Leary was penciled in as the starting left guard, but he will now likely need two to four weeks to recover from the procedure, according to a source.

Richard Durrett, Ian Fitzsimmons and Glenn "Stretch" Smith react to Dez Bryant sounding off yesterday after practice about Johnny Manziel and the shadiness of the NCAA.

Listen Listen
Meanwhile, Nate Livings is at least two weeks away from returning to the field after undergoing surgery on his right knee earlier in training camp.

The Cowboys had an agreement with Brandon Moore on a one-year deal last week, but the veteran elected to retire instead. The Cowboys have an offer on the table for six-time Pro Bowler Brian Waters, who has not played since 2011 with New England.

Leary missed the first week of training camp because of a calf injury, but he started and played in most of the Cowboys' first two preseason games. He spent most of last year on the practice squad after the Cowboys signed him as an undrafted free agent and guaranteed him more than $200,000.

With Leary and Livings out, David Arkin will start at left guard in Saturday's preseason game at the Arizona Cardinals.

Ronald Leary to undergo MRI on knee

August, 14, 2013
OXNARD, Calif. -- Cowboys left guard Ronald Leary missed the Wednesday morning walk-through because of a left knee problem. Leary, who said he expects to practice Thursday, will undergo an MRI.

Leary has a chronic condition in his left knee called osteochondritis dissecans (os-tee-o-kohn-DRY-tis DIS-uh-kanz), a joint condition where a piece of cartilage, along with a thin layer of the bone beneath it, comes loose from the end of a bone.

Coach Jason Garrett said this current knee problem isn't related to that.

"We don't think this is a serious thing," Garrett said. "We'll get the MRI and see what it looks like and we'll move forward."

David Arkin replaced Leary as the first-team left guard and Dennis Godfrey took over at guard for the second and third teams.

The Cowboys have health issues along the offensive line. Guards Kevin Kowalski (knee), Ryan Cook (back), Ray Dominguez (shoulder) and Nate Livings (knee) are missing camp because of injuries. To solve the shortage at the position, the Cowboys tried to sign Brandon Moore last week, but he elected to retire.

After Moore turned the Cowboys down, the team offered a contract to Brian Waters, who hasn't made a decision regarding his future.
OAKLAND -- While the Cowboys' offensive line was being praised for a solid job in the 19-17 loss to the Oakland Raiders, there still could be some pending moves.

Multiple sources indicate the Cowboys have an interest in guard Brian Waters, who hasn't played since 2011. The Cowboys have turned to Waters after guard Brandon Moore backed out of a verbal agreement and decided to retire.

Injuries and ineffective play have forced the Cowboys to search for some help.

"Again, it's just an overall look see on what we are doing in the interior, and he is an outstanding player," Cowboys owner/general manager Jerry Jones said Friday night about Waters. "That's about all I can say about that."

Jones said he's not concerned about trying to sign a player who is retired, especially after missing out on a player who elected to retire instead of playing.

"Well, I would just say that the quality of the people we are talking to, if they decide to come play, they will play," Jones said. "That's not a concern of mine at all. Fact that they are considering not playing, knowing the quality of the people we are talking to, I respect that. I also respect the fact that if they decide to come, they will come and be a good player for us."

If Waters signs, he could move into the right guard spot, currently held by Mackenzy Bernadeau, who made his preseason debut against the Raiders after missing the first game last week against the Miami Dolphins.

"I'm just going to continue to work hard and be the best player that I can be no matter who they bring in or who they don’t bring in," Bernadeau said. "I'm going to work hard and of course they have to do what they have to do. We're short on the offensive line so, I can only worry about what I can control."

Source: Cowboys targeting OL Brian Waters

August, 8, 2013
Calvin Watkins joins Galloway and Company live from Oxnard, Calif., to discuss the latest news from Cowboys training camp.

Listen Listen
Even while they have spoken with other offensive lineman, Dallas’ top choice at guard was, and continues to be, former Chiefs and Patriots standout Brian Waters, said a team source.

The Cowboys have let it be known to Waters that they want him to come to Dallas to help fortify the offensive line. They tried signing Waters before reaching an agreement with former Jets guard Brandon Moore, who abruptly retired.

Dallas is continuing to stay in touch with Waters, who would like to play but doesn’t need to play. In other words, if the Cowboys make an intriguing enough offer, the former Pro Bowl guard is willing to come out of retirement. Everyone has a price.
OXNARD, Calif. -- The Cowboys have a gaggle of candidates for the interior of the offensive line to choose from.

The team was spurned by guard Brandon Moore on Wednesday morning after he agreed to a deal but then decided he wanted to retire.

Ed Werder joins Fitzsimmons and Durrett for his weekly visit to discuss what he expects to see from the Cowboys on Friday night, the mood at Eagles camp in the midst of the Riley Cooper saga, his take on Johnny Football and more.

Listen Listen
Thursday morning before leaving for Oakland, the site of Friday's second preseason game, the Cowboys created a roster spot by releasing guard Jeff Olson, who recovered from a concussion.

Among some notable names available on the free agent market are Deuce Lutui, Bobbie Williams, Cooper Carlisle, Leonard Davis, Reggie Wells, Derrick Dockery, Antoine Caldwell, Jamey Richard, Rex Hadnot and Montrae Holland.

Dockery, Holland and Davis are former Cowboys, but there are also players with ties to offensive coordinator Bill Callahan available for a potential deal. Moore played for Callahan with the New York Jets.

"The way Jason (Garrett) looks at this thing, we sign guys and they come in here and they compete," Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said. "I don’t think anything is necessarily a given at those spots."

What also helps is finding an offensive linemen who is familiar to the zone blocking scheme Callahan uses.

"I don't think this scheme is anymore difficult than any other," Jones said. "The guys that are out there they will adjust and we'll play the guys accordingly."

When the Cowboys play the Raiders on Friday night the starting guards will be Ronald Leary on the left side and Mackenzy Bernadeau at right guard with Travis Frederick at center.

Money isn't an issue for the Cowboys because the team has nearly $10 million in salary cap space. Jones, however, likes to have space available in case the Cowboys need to sign a free agent during the season.

"It's a work in progress. If we see opportunities, we'll look at them," Jones said. "We'll also be patient. We're not going to just push a panic button and say this has to be fixed tomorrow."
OXNARD, Calif. -- The Dallas Cowboys were spurned Wednesday morning by Brandon Moore, who backed out of a one-year deal to retire.

Todd Archer joins Galloway and Company live from Oxnard, Calif., to discuss the latest Cowboys news and which players they will keep on their roster.

Listen Listen
Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones said he was surprised to see Moore back out of the deal, but respected the decision. With injuries along the offensive line, Jones said the team is still searching for talent along the line.

"Obviously, that’s why we were looking and we’re not through looking," Jones said. "We obviously have options but we also have parameters and we got to work within our cap situation. We don’t have an unlimited situation here, but we have guys we're looking at and we will continue to look. But there’s more than one way to acquire a player. Get him through free agency, you can trade for him, you can wait and see if he becomes available. We're looking."

Of the 18 offensive linemen on the 90-man training camp roster, seven are injured including four on the interior line.

Projected starting left guard Nate Livings is recovering from minor knee surgery, and Jones said he's had no setbacks.

The projected starting right guard Mackenzy Bernadeau has practiced three times since returning from knee surgery. Bernadeau is getting snaps with the first team and should play Friday night at the Oakland Raiders.

Jones did say he's comfortable with Ronald Leary as the first-team left guard, but cautioned it wasn't time to name starters just yet.

Yet the starting line for the Raiders game would be: Doug Free and Tyron Smith at tackles, Travis Frederick at center and Leary and Bernadeau at guard. Jones mentioned backup center Phil Costa as someone to depend on for 2013 but stopped mentioning names after that.

"Hopefully, Bernadeau is going to be fine," Jones said. "You need more than just him, that makes five, then we got Costa and then we got a lot of people working hard and we got some people on [conditioning] cords and we got some people who hadn’t made it to cords yet. We gotta -- obviously it’s a position where we do have some concerns. It's probably really the only position where we have some concerns."

The Cowboys have close to $10 million in salary cap space, so that's not an issue in trying to sign a player.

"We have to be careful how we use our resources," Jones said. "But we have a good feel for it. Obviously a good enough feel where we can't be flippant with it. But at the same time, if the right situation is there, and we feel like we can improve ourselves, then we would."

Bernadeau: 'I'm confident in my abilities'

August, 7, 2013
OXNARD, Calif. – Mackenzy Bernadeau understands the business of the NFL, but he doesn’t believe that the Cowboys need to acquire a starting guard.

He hopes to prove that to the Cowboys’ coaching staff and front office.

“I’m confident in my abilities,” Bernadeau said. “I’m confident in the hard work that I put in. I’ve just got to take care of business, do my job and show the coaches that you’ve got to keep me out on the field. That’s my mentality this whole offseason and through camp.”

The Cowboys clearly don’t share that confidence at this point. They agreed to a deal with ex-New York Jets guard Brandon Moore, a favorite of offensive coordinator Bill Callahan, only to have Moore opt to retire after sleeping on it. Executive vice president Stephen Jones said the team will continue to search for alternatives at guard.

That doesn’t bother Bernadeau, who is working at right guard with the starters, chipping off rust after missing all of offseason workouts while recovering from shoulder surgery and delaying his training camp debut until Friday due to a strained hamstring.

“A team’s gotta do what it’s gotta do to get better,” said Bernadeau, who struggled early last season after missing all of the offseason and training camp due to hip and knee injuries. “The coaching staff, personnel staff, they know what we have to do.

“I’m motivated to be the best guard that I can be. I want to be one of the best guards in the league, so I’ve just got to continue to work.”