2:16pm: Nwaneri confirmed on his Instagram account that he has reached an agreement to join the Cowboys.
10:56am: After more than three and a half months on the free agent market, offensive lineman Uche Nwaneri is expected to sign a contract with the Cowboys, reports Adam Caplan of ESPN.com (via Twitter). Terms of the agreement aren’t yet known.
Nwaneri, 30, had been a longtime starter on the interior of the Jaguars’ offensive line, appearing in 104 contests (92 starts) for the team since entering the league as a fifth-round pick in 2007. However, the Purdue alum became a cap casualty this March, and was cut by Jacksonville a week before free agency began. Although he visited the Bengals and Titans this spring, Nwaneri had yet to find a new NFL home until now.
While Nwaneri isn’t one of the league’s elite guards, he ranked a respectable 34th among 81 qualified players in 2013, according to Pro Football Focus’ advanced metrics (subscription required), and recorded an overall PFF grade of +18.0 over the last five seasons. For the Cowboys, the Dallas native will compete for a roster spot and playing time on an offensive line that already looks very strong heading into the 2014 season, led by young standouts Tyron Smith and Travis Frederick, as well as ’14 first-rounder Zack Martin.