Brian Waters won't rush decision on future

IRVING, Texas – Brian Waters has yet to have surgery on his triceps, but the veteran guard acknowledged he will more than likely go under the knife. Whether or not he has the operation will not factor in a decision to return next year.

“Whatever decision I make is going to be a long, drawn-out process, like it always is,” Waters said.

Waters did not join the Dallas Cowboys until Sept. 4, after about a month of talks with the team. He was a late signee with the New England Patriots in 2010. He did not play in 2011.

Cowboys coach Jason Garrett has said he would be in favor of Waters returning in 2014.

“I’m just trying to make it through this particular phase of this process and making a decision whether to have surgery or not and figuring out a timeline on that,” Waters said. “Then I’ll worry about that next situation after I go through the rehab and all of that stuff and figure out where I am physically.”

Waters will turn 37 in February. He moved into the Cowboys' starting lineup after three games, and started five games at right guard before suffering a partial tear of his triceps on Oct. 27 against the Detroit Lions.

Waters said he hoped the team could keep a roster spot for him if his arm improved by the end of the season.

“At the time it was definitely best, the team needed as many spots as possible because we were going through a pretty hefty injury situation,” Waters said. “That was ultimately the best decision that was made for the team.”

Leaving the NFL on his terms, and not on injured reserve, will be part of the decision.

“But sometimes you have to put your pride aside and do what is best for yourself,” Waters said. “Sometimes we can be our own worst enemy. I have to make sure I’m doing what’s smart. And obviously I’m going to talk to the medical people and make sure medically, whatever decision I make, it’s the right decision.”