IRVING -- The Dallas Cowboys and veteran guard Brian Waters finally got the deal done, and now the Waxahachie native will do his best to give his hometown team a much-needed push in the offensive line.
The negotiations ended Tuesday with Water signing a deal worth at least $1.5 million, but with incentives could reach $3 million, according to a source.
The 36-year-old Waters played collegiately at North Texas. He's a 12-year NFL veteran, having played his first 11 years with Kansas City.
In 2012, in a similar situation, he joined the New England Patriots just a few days before the season began. He went on to earn his sixth trip to the Pro Bowl. More importantly, he started every game as the Patriots went to the Super Bowl that season.
Waters spent last season out of football. He's not expected to start Sunday, with his conditioning a possible concern.
The move bolsters a Cowboys offensive line that could have potentially seen four starters make their NFL debut at their respective positions.
The team considered moving right tackle Doug Free to right guard, and inserting Jeremy Parnell at right tackle. Add in rookie center Travis Frederick, and former free agent left guard Ronald Leary, and that would have made the only returning starter left tackle Tyron Smith.
The addition of Waters allows Free to return to tackle, where he played well in training camp and the preseason. Cowboys officials are banking on the move turning an area of grave concern into a position group of strength.