After sleeping on it, Brandon Moore has decided to retire rather than join the Dallas Cowboys.
The former New York Jets guard told FOX Sports on Wednesday morning that he "wrestled" with his decision to agree to terms with Dallas and will not sign the contract. After 10 seasons in the NFL, he’s hanging up his cleats.
"I was wrestling with it all night. I was excited, but when you start looking at all the personal factors that go into it and the commitment on the football side and you’ve been in a different mental state also the past three or four months because no action’s been happening, you kind of move on with your life," Moore, 33, said in a phone interview from his new house in New Jersey. "I was happy with that and fine with that. But when you get a call from a coach I care deeply for in (Cowboys offensive coordinator) Bill Callahan, you start to feel it, you get excited and you’re finally like, ‘I want to do it.’
"But you map out the logistics of it all — the physical and mental commitment, the tear on your family …"
On Tuesday night, Moore agreed to a one-year deal with a base salary of $1.25 million, a $500,000 signing bonus and $250,000 playing time incentive, according to a source. It was a sign the Cowboys knew they had issues in the middle of their offensive line, with left guard Nate Livings undergoing a pair of knee surgeries in the past six months, a rookie starting at center in Travis Frederick and right guard Mackenzy Bernadeau working his way back from a hamstring injury.
Moore, who was part of the infamous "Butt Fumble" last Thanksgiving in which Jets QB Mark Sanchez slid into Moore, didn’t discuss specifics of the deal but confirmed the Cowboys offered him more than just a veteran’s minimum deal. In what turned out to be a tough market for veteran guards, Moore found a handful of teams willing to add him, "but nobody was serious about getting the deal done."
The Cowboys finally were. They worked out a deal with Moore’s agent, Deryk Gilmore, on Tuesday. Moore said the most difficult part was telling Callahan, his offensive line coach with the Jets a few years ago. Gilmore said he didn’t have the desire to uproot his family, fly to California for training camp and then spend the season in Dallas.
"I’m a man of my word. I hated letting Bill down," Moore said. "He put the word out to get me there, and I have a lot of respect for him. But I know the Cowboys will move on. They moved on from whoever they moved on before me and they’ll move on to somebody else. The game goes on."
Moore said he was in football shape but is now looking forward to getting down to a "normal, healthy person’s weight." An attendee of the NFL’s business management and entrepreneurial program at Harvard in 2010, he’ll begin to explore other career opportunities.
"In the bigger scheme of things," he said, "It’s about me, my happiness and my family."
As for the Cowboys, they’ll surely now look elsewhere for help at guard. Veteran Brian Waters, who sat out last season after not reporting to the New England Patriots during the offseason, could be an option.