How long can Cowboys wait on Brian Waters?

OXNARD, Calif. – The Cowboys’ waiting game with offensive guard Brian Waters continues.

How long will it last? The team doesn’t want to set any sort of deadline.

“We want to, at any given time if we got the opportunity, [sign] a player who can help us,” owner/general manager Jerry Jones said. “We don’t want to get caught up in timelines. I don’t want to speculate and I don't want to do anything to cause you to write, ‘Well, he changed his mind.’”

In other words, the Cowboys want the six-time Pro Bowler and aren’t about to screw things up with any sort of ultimatum.

There is a legitimate concern, however, about how much time Waters would need to be ready for the Sept. 8 season opener against the New York Giants, especially considering that the 36-year-old likely has some rust to chip off after sitting out last season. Ideally, the starting offensive line would get at least a preseason game’s worth of work, which require Waters to join the Cowboys next week.

However, recent history indicates that Waters doesn’t necessarily need preseason reps to be successful. He signed with the New England Patriots on Sept. 4, 2011, and started every game for a Super Bowl team, earning a Pro Bowl invitation in the process.

“Anytime you’re talking about a player getting ready for the regular season, guys need to play, but you understand what the situations are,” coach Jason Garrett said. “Certainly, some guys are more ready to play than other guys because of the experiences that they’ve had in this league. You kind of weigh where they are physically versus experience versus getting them to play with other people, and you try to make your best decision.”

In this case, it appears the best decision for the Cowboys would be to give Waters all the time he needs.