The Cowboys have agreed to contract terms with Waters, a source told NFL.com's Albert Breer on Tuesday. The team later officially announced Waters had signed a one-year deal worth up to $3 million, including a $1.5 million base salary.
Waters isn't expected to play in Sunday night's season opener versus the New York Giants, according to the Cowboys' official website. The team will place safety Eric Frampton on the waived/injured list to make roster room for Waters.
The sides had been dancing around a deal since late July, but it soon became evident that Waters, 36, wanted no part of training camp. Now that the games count, Waters has regained the itch to play.
The native Texan still was playing at a high level for the New England Patriots in 2011 before sitting out last season. With Nate Livings lost for the season, Ronald Leary questionable for the opener and Doug Free oscillating between offensive tackle and guard, the Cowboys had a glaring need for stability on the interior of their offensive line.
It likely will take Waters a few weeks to work his way into football shape. Once that happens, he should push Leary and Mackenzy Bernadeau for snaps at guard, allowing Free to kick back outside to offensive tackle.
For all of the skill-position talent on the Cowboys' roster, the unsettled offensive line is keeping coach Jason Garrett up at night. The Waters addition helps, but the payoff might be weeks down the line.