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    NFL notes: Brian Waters finally signs with Cowboys

    Former Patriot gives Dallas OL depth

    Brian Waters, who signed with the Patriots for two years in 2011 after playing 11 years with the Chiefs, refused to report in New England in 2012.
    Jim Davis/Globe Staff/File
    Brian Waters, who signed with the Patriots for two years in 2011 after playing 11 years with the Chiefs, refused to report in New England in 2012.

    Brian Waters finally landed with the Cowboys, reported Tuesday, two weeks after executive vice president Stephen Jones said the team was moving on after extended contract negotiations were futile.

    Waters, 36, hasn’t played in the NFL since 2011, when he started 16 games for the Patriots and was selected to the Pro Bowl.

    Waters, who signed with the Patriots for two years in 2011 after playing 11 years with the Chiefs, refused to report in New England in 2012.


    Despite being under contract, the Patriots tried to entice Waters with a $4 million offer, but the right guard wouldn’t budge. The Patriots did not release Waters, essentially forcing him to sign in New England or sit out the season, which he did.

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    The Cowboys and Waters had been talking since July.

    That they struck a deal days before the regular season should be no surprise; Waters despises training camp.

    In his season in New England, Bill Belichick granted Waters a reprieve from training camp to remain home in Texas with his family.

    The Cowboys’ offensive line is banged up, with Nate Livings (knee) out for the season and Ronald Leary (knee) questionable for Sunday night’s opener against the Giants.

    Four sue league, Riddell


    Four former NFL players have sued the league and its helmet maker, claiming they hid information about the dangers of brain injury. They want medical care for past, current, and future NFL players.

    The ex-players — Jimmy Williams, Rich Mauti, Jimmy Keyes, and Nolan Franz — filed the federal lawsuit in New Orleans on Sunday.

    Last week, the NFL tentatively agreed to pay $765 million to past players with health problems that can be caused by concussions, but some said the amount should have been more.

    Neither the league nor helmet maker Riddell, Inc. would comment about the new suit, which claims they failed to protect players from brain injuries. Riddell isn’t part of the proposed settlement.

    $55m for Texans’ Cushing

    Texans linebacker Brian Cushing signed a six-year contract extension.


    A person familiar with negotiations confirmed the deal, speaking on the condition of anonymity because the team has not made an announcement.

    The deal is worth $55.6 million, with $21 million guaranteed.

    Cushing was in the last year of the deal he signed as a rookie in 2009.

    The 26-year-old returned to the field this summer after sustaining a season-ending knee injury in Week 5 of last season.

    Redman to start for Steelers

    Steelers running back Isaac Redman spent most of the preseason on the bench as a precaution after tweaking his neck during practice.

    That didn’t stop coach Mike Tomlin from making Redman the starter for Sunday’s season opener against Tennessee.

    The Steelers cut Jonathan Dwyer — their leading rusher last season — and handed the starting job to Redman while second-round pick Le’Veon Bell recovers from a sprained right foot.

    Redman has been effective when healthy. He ran for 410 yards in 2012 and can be effective in the passing game. Redman caught four passes for a career-high 105 yards in a 26-23 loss to the Titans last October.

    Meachem rejoins Saints

    The Saints brought back receiver Robert Meachem, shortly after his release by the Chargers.

    Meachem was signed to a one-year contract; financial terms have not been released.

    Meachem was the Saints’ first-round draft choice in 2007 and left for San Diego as a free agent last season.

    His best season in New Orleans was 2009, when he had 45 catches for 722 yards and nine touchdowns in helping the Saints win their only Super Bowl title.

    Rams cut BC’s Dunbar

    The Rams waived outside linebacker and former BC star Jo-Lonn Dunbar, who must serve a four-game suspension to open the season for violating the league’s policy on performance-enhancing drugs . . . Champ Bailey suited up for practice but didn’t participate in the session. His availability for the Broncos’ season opener Thursday night against the Ravens remains uncertain because of a tender left foot. Bailey has been out since spraining his foot Aug. 17 in a preseason game at Seattle . . . Kicker Dan Carpenter signed with the Bills a day after rookie kicker Dustin Hopkins was hurt in practice, according to . . . The Browns reached agreement on a contract with former Pro Bowl kicker Billy Cundiff after terminating veteran Shayne Graham’s contract and releasing rookie Brandon Bogotay . . . The Falcons signed offensive tackle Jeremy Trueblood for depth after losing projected starter Mike Johnson (broken left leg) for the season . . . Former first-round draft pick Danny Watkins signed a $555,000, one-year contract with the Dolphins after the guard was cut by the Eagles . . . The Colts waived safety John Boyett a day after he was arrested on public intoxication and other charges.