IRVING — It's not the first time Waxahachie native Brian Waters has donned a Cowboys uniform.
Fourteen years ago, the former UNT standout tried to catch on in Dallas as a fullback and tight end, and actually had a chance to catch a touchdown pass from then-Cowboys quarterback Jason Garrett.
"It was one of those plays where we worked on [it] numerous [times] down in the Red Zone," Waters said. "He actually gave me a shot, and I didn't come through with it. Everything happens for a reason, I'd say, though."
After a position change to offensive line, Waters has made six Pro Bowl appearances in his 12 NFL seasons. And after his workout on Tuesday, Garrett and the Cowboys are giving him another shot.
"We've all seen a lot of football players for a lot of years," said Garrett. "He's been a damn good football player for a long time, just wanted to see what kinda shape he was [in], how he was moving around, and how he responded to the work."
Now that Waters is a full-fledged member of his hometown team, the Cowboys have to decide when they'll actually put him in the mix to play games. Waters has been through a situation like this before, but with one major difference.
He joined the Patriots the week of the season opener in 2012, and played every game in a Super Bowl season.
But Waters was out of football all of last year because of family concerns, according to Garrett, so this year will be tougher to get ready.
"Learning the playbook, trying to catch up with the guys mentally and physically, and trying to get yourself prepared as best you can for Sunday... that's definitely a huge challenge for me," Waters said.
Meanwhile, quarterback Tony Romo can't help but look forward to the possibility of Waters' arrival meaning that extra measure of time it takes to come up with more big plays and less devastating mistakes.
"The organization has done a great job just continually bringing in people that give us a chance to be a better team," Romo said. "I think Brian has a great track record, and I assume he's going to come in and play just as well as he always has."
If this plan works out right, it could make life easier on the quarterback — not to mention the rest of Cowboy nation.