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October 25, 2013

Brian Waters is playing like Brian Waters eight weeks into his return

Brian Waters had not played football in a year and a half when he signed with the Cowboys on Sept. 4. It took him a couple of weeks, but playing guard apparently is like riding a bike for him. He has not missed a beat since taking over as the starting right guard in Week 4.

"He’s pretty darn close to being back to himself," Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said Friday. "There’s no question about that. That was a concern, or something we talked about a lot, in bringing him back, understanding that he hadn’t played last year and didn’t go through training camp. We have a tremendous respect for the game and the level of competition that goes on every Sunday afternoon. So guys have to be ready to do that. He’s done it really well for a long time. So he had to get back in football shape and just move around and really get his feet underneath him, get his hands back, all that stuff that came so naturally to him for a long time. If you haven’t done it, it just takes you a little bit to get it back.

"I think conditioning, as much as anything else, was an issue for any player in his position. He was surprisingly in very good shape, wasn’t overweight when he first came back. He had to lose a little bit of weight, but more than anything else just get comfortable playing ball again. I think he’s done that over the last few weeks."

Waters, 36, sat out the 2012 season, returning to football when the Cowboys signed him to a one-year, $3 million deal. The six-time Pro Bowler has allowed two sacks, according to STATS, and has one holding penalty.

"I’m working just like everybody else," Waters said. "I’m trying to get better and better. There are some things in my game that I really feel like I need to fix. But I think that’s everybody. We’re Week 7. It’s a long season still yet, and hopefully we’ll have an extended part of our season. I’ve always said you want to be at your best at the end of the season, not at the beginning of the season, not in the middle. We definitely have a ways to go and individually I have a ways to go as well."

Waters has no regrets about returning. He already lived in Dallas, so it was coming home in a way.

"I’m excited about that," Waters said. "I’m still ecstatic."

-- Charean Williams

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