Say what you will about the timing of the Cowboys finally coming to terms with veteran free agent guard Brian Waters six days prior to Sunday's season opener against the Giants.
But don't argue with the results.
Waters, who agreed to terms on a one-year deal worth up to $3 million, per a source, is a huge upgrade to the Cowboys' reshuffled offensive line.
It's unlikely Waters would play against the Giants. The former six-time Pro Bowler has not played since 2011 when he was with the Patriots.
Waters, who played in college at North Texas and lives in Waxahachie, would need at least a couple of weeks to get in football shape, according to a source.
But this move was rooted in what was best for the Cowboys for balance of the season in hopes of making the playoffs and a possible run to the Super Bowl.
Waters, 36, is a six-time Pro Bowler. He earned five during an 11-year career with the Chiefs and another came in the 2011 season with New England. He has allowed 18 sacks and been penalized 22 times in his 12 seasons.
The Cowboys and Waters have been talked since July when the team had a number of injuries at the guard position. They since have placed Nate Livings on injured reserve with a knee injury. Ron Leary returned to individual drills Monday after undergoing surgery on his right knee Aug. 18. Mackenzy Bernadeau has missed a lot of practice time with injuries since he was signed last off-season, including being out last week with an ankle injury. Right tackle Doug Free began began getting work at right guard two weeks ago.
The additon of Waters, who would start opposite Leary at guard, would allow Free to move back to right tackle. It would also give the Cowboys experienced and quality backups at guard in tackle in Bernadeau and Jeremy Parnell.
The deal, which was declared dead three weeks ago by owner Jerry Jones, took a long time partly because the two sides were far apart on money and partly because Waters didn't want to come to training camp.
At the end of the season, the Cowboys and Waters are banking on the end result mattering most.
Clarence E. Hill