Coach Jason Garrett was non-committal about Waters playing Sunday against the New York Giants.
“He’s been a very good player for a long time as a protector, as a run-blocker,” Garrett said. “He’s big, strong, physical, athletic. He plays with the right kind of demeanor. He’s been that way a long time. Ask anybody that ever evaluated him in-house or from afar and everybody says that. He did miss training camp prior to playing in New England [in 2011] but he had played the previous season, so that would be one difference. He didn’t play last year, so we have to respect and understand that. But again we think he’s in relatively good shape. Let’s see what kind of progress he makes over the next few days.”
Last year the Cowboys traded for Ryan Cook on Aug. 31, and he was active for the Sept. 5 season opener against the Giants. When Phil Costa re-injured his back after three snaps, the Cowboys went to Cook at center for their final 58 snaps of the game. But Cook had been with Miami all summer.
Cornerback Sterling Moore was signed off the New England Patriots' practice squad on Nov. 30 and played against the Philadelphia Eagles in a reserve role two days later. But Moore had been practicing every week.
In 2011, Waters signed with New England on Sept. 4 and played in 69 of 80 snaps in the Sept. 12 season opener against Miami. He was forced into full-time action when center Dan Koppen went down with an ankle injury and Dan Connolly moved to center.
But the last time Waters played in a game was Feb. 5, 2012, in Super Bowl XLVI against the Giants. He was out of football last year, did not go through an offseason camp this spring or a training camp this summer. On Feb. 18, he turned 36.
Playing this week might be too big of a hurdle to climb. Week 2 at Kansas City, where he spent the first 11 years of his career, might make more sense. Garrett wasn't biting.
"We're focused on Wednesday," Garrett said.