The Dallas Cowboys added another veteran offensive lineman on Friday, signing former Cincinnati Bengals guard Nate Livings to a five-year, $19 million deal. An undrafted rookie in 2006, Livings was signed to the Bengals’ practice squad until he was activated in 2008 when Abdul Hodge was placed on Injured Reserve. Livings started all 16 games for the Bengals the past two seasons.
Cowboys’ offensive line coach Bill Callahan and assistant coach Wes Phillips had breakfast with Livings on Thursday morning before the veteran guard signed with Dallas the following afternoon. Livings is a mammoth of a player at 6’5″ and 330 lbs., but a fantastic size for a stud offensive guard.
While he started for the Bengals, who made the playoffs in 2011, Livings isn’t a game-changer like fellow free agent guards Carl Nicks or Ben Grubbs. However, Callahan and Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett are convinced Livings at least has the potential to be an anchor on Dallas’ offensive line, so he was brought in a day after Mackenzy Bernadeau signed with the team.
Livings and Bernadeau at least provide depth to the Cowboys’ offensive line, if nothing else. Dallas is hoping at least one of the two pans out into a reliable starter opposite Bill Nagy and as an eventual replacement for Kyle Kosier, who turns 34 this season and will be a free agent in 2014.