. Veteran guard Brandon Moore agreed to a one-year deal with the Dallas Cowboys late Tuesday night then had a change of heart and has decided to retire from the NFL.
Moore, 33, played 10 seasons with the New York Jets, starting 142 games, including a streak of 137. He wasn’t re-signed after the 2012 season.
Per a source, the Cowboys have also had conversations about former North Texas star Brian Waters, who played with the New England Patriots and the Kansas City Chiefs.
Owner Jerry Jones said the Cowboys had several reasons to add a veteran guard three weeks into training camp, starting with the injuries to returning starters Nate Livings and Mackenzy Bernadeau that have limited them in camp.
“That they are limited, they have had injury, they have been out of preseason, all of that,” Jones said. “I think you say that has something to do with it.”
Livings started camp on the non-football injury list, came back for a week, and then had arthroscopic knee surgery sidelining him for the rest of the preseason. Bernadeau returned to practice Friday after missing the first two weeks of camp on the physically unable to perform list with a hamstring injury.
The fact that both were coming off injury-filled seasons last year when they joined the Cowboys with lucrative free agent deals only hastened the team’s decision to try to move in another direction.
The Cowboys have already seemingly moved to replace Livings at left guard with second-year player Ron Leary. But combining him with rookie center Travis Frederick, third-year tackle Tyron Smith and a potential first-year starter in Jermey Parnell, if he beats out veteran Doug Free, means the Cowboys would be very young up front.
Jones said the Cowboys needed an experienced veteran to help out.
“That is sure a part of it,” Jones said. “You have to recognize you have a young group with Smith and potentially Parnell when he does get back. But it has more to do with the player we are bringing in and the opportunity here.”
It also means the Cowboys can forgo any plans to use Frederick at guard because they drafted him to play center and prefer he plays there, Jones said.
The fact the Cowboys are paying Livings and Bernadeau $1.7 million each in 2013 is of no concern to Jones. If both are healthy and ready to go after adding the veteran guard, that’s good, too, Jones said.
“We have what we we have,” Jones said as far as the contracts are concerned. He joked, “I would hate to end up with a surplus of good guards. We wouldn’t know how to play football around here.”
Briefly• The Cowboys released punter Spencer Benton and defensive end Monte Taylor to make room for two new signings, defensive end Jabari Fletcher and guard Dennis Godfrey.
• Wide receiver Terrance Williams remains sidelined with a concussion and is doubtful for the preseason game at Oakland.
• Safety Matt Johnson is out at least a week with a stress reaction in his ankle. Jerry Jones said the injury occurred in practice last week and was aggravated in the preseason opener against Miami.