Offensive guard Waters ready to take full load for Cowboys

Posted Wednesday, Sep. 25, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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Brian Waters made his last start in Super Bowl XLVI to end the 2011 season. His next start could come Sunday.

Waters took first-team snaps at right guard Wednesday, an indication he is ready for a full workload instead of alternating with Mackenzy Bernadeau.

“That’s the goal — to try to make it through a whole game,” Waters said. “We’ll see how it goes. Obviously, Mack will be ready to go. I think we’re all confident he’ll be ready to go if anything happens so we’ll see how it goes.”

Waters signed with the Cowboys on Sept. 3 after sitting out last season. He was inactive for the season opener and played four series in Week 2 against the Kansas City Chiefs. He and Bernadeau alternated series last week against St. Louis, with Waters getting 31 of 62 snaps.

“I’ve still got a ways to go,” Waters, 36, said. “That’s still going to be the way I look at it. I’m always going to be my hardest critic, so I feel like I still have a way to go.”

Hatcher’s future

The Cowboys plan on defensive tackle Jason Hatcher, 31, being a part of their future. Hatcher, in the last year of a three-year, $6 million deal, is having a career year with 11 tackles, three sacks and eight quarterback pressures.

“I would have hope we have Hatcher in the future, because he is playing at a high level,” Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said. “We have always thought he had excellent size, excellent athletic ability and real skill at rushing the passer. That’s hard to find in a player. He’s got it, and it’s showing up.”

Spencer’s future

The Cowboys franchised Anthony Spencer each of the past two seasons. They are paying him $10.6 million this season despite having to put him on injured reserve Wednesday, but Jerry Jones said he doesn’t regret the decision to keep Spencer, who played 34 snaps this season.

“That’s just the life we’ve chosen, so I don’t in any way second guess the commitment we made to him because of the caliber of player he was,” Jones said. “We certainly would like to have those dollars, but I’d rather have Spencer than those dollars. I can’t look at it as the obvious. Anytime something doesn’t work out, I can’t look at it that way. On the other hand, I can tell if anybody was going to get the money under these circumstances, I’m glad it’s him. He’s worked hard. He’s that quality individual and that quality player.”

Spencer, the Cowboys’ defensive MVP in 2012 with a career-best 11.5 sacks, becomes a free agent in the off-season. But he turns 30 in January and will be rehabbing from another surgery on his left knee. Still, Jones said the Cowboys have interest in re-signing the first-round pick in 2007.

“He’s very accomplished, got great experience,” Jones said. “In a matter of speaking, just coming into his own and will be a great complement, if we can go that way, to [DeMarcus] Ware in the future.”

Bryant fined

The NFL fined Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant $7,875 for a throat-slash gesture after his first-quarter touchdown. Bryant was penalized 15 yards for unsportsmanlike conduct. He said Wednesday he would appeal.

“It’s worth a try,” Bryant said.

The NFL banned the throat slash in 1999.

Defensive tackle Jason Hatcher said he was not fined for a roughing the quarterback penalty.

Injury update

DeMarcus Ware (neck) was limited in practice Wednesday, while Miles Austin (hamstring) and Dwayne Harris (hip) stayed on the stationary bikes in missing practice. Morris Claiborne (shoulder) and Ernie Sims (groin) were full participants.

Charean Williams, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @NFLCharean

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