The Nate Livings experiment is over in Dallas.
The Cowboys on Thursday announced the release of the 30-year-old guard from injured reserve, only one season after he signed a five-year, $18.7 million contract armed with $6.2 million in guarantees.
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With Tuesday's signing of six-time Pro Bowl lineman Brian Waters, Livings and his fat contract weren't worth waiting around for.
Livings is eligible to return to the Cowboys for their Nov. 10 meeting with the New Orleans Saints if Dallas chooses to bring him back. He's also free to sign elsewhere, but teams aren't breaking down the door for a player who's coming off multiple right knee operations. If Livings stays unemployed, the Cowboys still are on the hook this season for his $1.7 million base salary, fulfilling another astonishing contract blunder by Jerry Jones and Co.
On the field, Ronald Leary is penciled in at left guard, with Waters set to take over on the right side.
The Waters signing comes extremely close to Sunday night's season opener against the New York Giants. It might take weeks for Waters to hit his stride, but if he's able to stay in the lineup, it's an upgrade for a Cowboys line that enters the season as a major weakness on an otherwise talented team.