It seems that for some players, ‘America’s Team’ just isn’t a good fit. In fact, guard Brandon Moore actually chose to retire rather than suit up for the Dallas Cowboys this season. Just a day after signing a contract with the team, he informed the league that he plans to retire.
At 33 years old, the former New York Jet probably had some gas left in the tank had he really wanted to continue playing. So what was the reason he chose to quit the game that he loved for so long via retirement rather than head south to Big Blue.
Was he already having nightmares of Jerry Jones roaming the sideline and becoming a little too involved with the offensive line coaching process? Although Jones is the most over-involved owner in the world of sports, that doesn’t seem to be a likely reason to hang up the cleats.
Perhaps Brandon Moore had a vision where his Cowboys were in the midst of a playoff run, only needing to beat the rival Giants to qualify for the post-season in week 17. Down four points with a minute left, Tony Romo took the snap immediately behind Moore and botched the game like he infamously did when he was just a holder for the team. Comical, yes. Plausible, yes. However a veteran player searching desperately for a Super Bowl ring would happily play for any team he thought was a contender.
No, it was a much more noble reason that caused Brandon Moore to opt for retirement instead of becoming a member of the Dallas Cowboys. He could not bring himself to leave his family. After spending a ten year career in the NFL entirely with the New York Jets, he perhaps thought it would be unfair to uproot his loved ones and relocate across the country for such a short period of time. The other option was for Moore to leave his family behind and move himself across the country without them, neither option was something that the guard was capable of doing. A family man, Moore chose to stay in New York rather than join the Cowboys.
Moore explained how he came to his decision to walk away from football in an interview Wednesday morning. “I was wrestling with it all night,” Moore explained to Mike Garafolo. “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.”
“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.”
Brandon Moore was disappointed in himself for letting Bill Callahan down, however he saw the bigger picture and chose to remain with his family rather than starting over as a Cowboy.
Walking away from football before his body began to decline, the ten year Jet was still ranked as the fourth best guard in the NFL according to ProFootballFocus. Capable of blocking both the run and the pass, Moore was an anchor on the Jets line throughout his decade in the league despite only being selected to one Pro Bowl. A part of back to back AFC Championship teams during the early years of Mark Sanchez reign as quarterback, he was never one to back down from high level competition.
The largest blemish on his career record is the infamous butt fumble last season. Quarterback Mark Sanchez attempted to scramble, but slid into Moore’s rump and fumbled the ball. The play was a staple on ESPN’s ‘Not Top Ten’ for months after the game ended.
Dallas will have to go back to the drawing board to find depth on its offensive line after guard Brandon Moore chose to remain with his family rather than join the Cowboys. Although he appeared to still be on top of his game, it is hard to fault a man for choosing to remain with his family.
Follow me on Twitter @CharlieGille
Senior Sports Editor
The Guardian Express