UPDATE: Brandon Moore informed the Cowboys Wednesday morning that he will retire instead of join the team in Dallas.
It’s hard to believe, but the Dallas Cowboys actually made a significant upgrade to their offensive line late Tuesday night when the team agreed on a one-year deal with free-agent guard Brandon Moore. The 33-year-old former Pro Bowler spent the better part of the last decade as the anchor of the New York Jets‘ offensive line, so he brings something to the table that no other offensive lineman on the Cowboys’ roster possesses: valuable veteran experience.
The Cowboys made laughable signings of Nate Livings and Mackenzie Bernadeau last offseason as “upgrades” to the offensive line, although both players were simply discards from the Cincinnati Bengals and Carolina Panthers, who were actually trying to upgrade their units. Now with both players hurt and Dallas’ senseless coaching staff finally realizing that neither is worth a starting spot, the team is looking in a new direction that includes young, up-and-comers like Ronald Leary, who has improved tremendously from his rookie season on the practice squad, and Travis Frederick, who showed in the Hall of Fame Game he wasn’t as big of a reach in the 2013 NFL Draft as we thought.
Now with a solid left side of the line set in stone with Tyron Smith at left tackle, Leary at left guard and Frederick at center, the Cowboys can focus on the right side, which is automatically better with the addition of Moore. Now all Dallas has to do is find a suitable right tackle who will play at the level Doug Free is supposed to be, especially considering the hefty payday the Cowboys gave him two years ago.
Don’t be alarmed by the late signing of Moore; he’s been drawing interest from multiple teams — most recently the Detroit Lions and Miami Dolphins — but his asking price was simply too high. The one-year deal the Cowboys gave him is good for both sides because Moore has to prove he’s still a force at age 33 and Dallas will be happy to pay his $3 million price tag if he shows to be as good as advertised.
One thing is for certain: Moore is a tremendous upgrade over all the other options the Cowboys have at right guard, so he’s worth the money already. You can bet he’ll be signed to an extension by the trade deadline and Dallas will finally be close to actually fortifying its offensive line.