After sleeping on it overnight, former New York Jets guard and the newest potential Dallas Cowboys free agent signee, Brandon Moore. decided he’d prefer to retire than to uproot his family to Dallas. The 33 year old Pro Bowl interior lineman verbally agreed to a one year contract with the Cowboys last night for a possible $2 million payout. But this morning, he had a change of heart. Here’s what he said told Rich Cimini of ESPNNewYork.com about his struggle to come to this decision:
“I was wrestling with it all day, going back and forth with my wife and family. Finally, we decided, ‘Let’s go ahead and do it.’ I didn’t sleep at all. I was wrestling with it. I realized it was too late in the game to uproot my family. I called my agent and said, ‘I can’t do it.’ I played the game for 10 years. I lived in a house. I didn’t have to go from team to team, so this would’ve been a big transition for me. You really don’t grasp it until you actually agree to something. Then it was like, ‘Wow, I have to leave tomorrow for California.”
This decision places the Cowboys back on the hook to find interior line help. Unfortunately, Moore represented the best option that free agency had to offer. It is expected that Dallas will continue their search immediately and they will sign someone within the week. Six time Pro Bowler and Texas native Brian Waters’ name has been popping up the past couple of weeks around Valley Ranch. The 36 year old, who last played for the New England Patriots in 2011, has reportedly shown interest in playing in his home state.
The urgency to find offensive line help quickly stems from a couple of issues. One of them is injury. Guard Nate Living will be having his second knee surgery this year very soon. He is expected to be out past the season opener. And guard Mackenzy Bernadeau just returned to training camp this week after injuring his hamstring during the Cowboys initial conditioning test over two weeks ago.
The other issue is experience. With both rookie center Travis Frederick and third year tackle Tyron Smith leading the way, Dallas’ O-line is in desperate need for more of a veteran presence. In that sense, Moore was a perfect fit for the Cowboys struggling offensive line. But the 10 year veteran, who amassed 137 consecutive starts as a member of the New York Jets, has no regrets about leaving the game:
“I’ve been truly blessed. I don’t have any regrets about my career. I gave it my all. I’d like to be known as a dependable guy who showed up for work every day and gave it his all.”
In an article by Brian McIntyre of Yahoo Sports, Moore further explained his connection with Dallas and the reason behind his initial hasty decision:
“I was excited, but when you start looking at all the personal factors that go into it and the commitment on the football side and you’ve been in a different mental state also the past three or four months because no action’s been happening, you kind of move on with your life. I was happy with that and fine with that. But when you get a call from a coach I care deeply for in Bill Callahan, you start to feel it, you get excited and you’re finally like, ‘I want to do it.’ But you map out the logistics of it all – the physical and mental commitment, the tear on your family… I’m a man of my word. I hated letting Bill down. He put the word out to get me there, and I have a lot of respect for him. But I know the Cowboys will move on. They moved on from whoever they moved on before me and they’ll move on to somebody else. The game goes on.”