Wayne Hunter #78 , Brandon Moore #65, Nick Mangold #74...

Wayne Hunter #78 , Brandon Moore #65, Nick Mangold #74 and D'Brickashaw Ferguson #60 of the New York Jets before the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. (Sept. 18, 2011) Credit: Getty Images

CORTLAND – News of Brandon Moore’s impending retirement slowly filtered its way around the SUNY-Cortland campus Wednesday, as players and coaches took turns reflecting on a Jet career rooted in reliability and professionalism.

“Shoot, Brandon’s one of the great players that I’ve been fortunate to play with,” center Nick Mangold said. “We played together seven years which I think in today’s NFL is pretty impressive. He was always a professional. He came in, did his job to the best of his ability, made sure he helped younger guys like guys had helped him. It’s been tough not having him here.”

Moore, a starting right guard for the Jets since 2003, agreed to a one-year free-agent deal with the Cowboys Tuesday night. But, in a stunning move, the 33-year-old Moore instead made the decision to retire this morning, according to his agent, Deryk Gilmore.

"He decided when he woke up this morning that he didn't want to play football anymore," Dallas coach Jason Garrett told reporters. "So we respect that decision."

At the conclusion of last season, Moore had streaks of 137 consecutive starts and appearances, longest among all current NFL offensive linemen. But in the end, he choose his family over football.

Mangold – who texted Moore Wednesday morning to congratulate him on signing with the Cowboys – playfully recalled the veteran's “subtle humor that sometimes came off as angry or crotchety,” while left tackle D’Brickashaw Ferguson spoke of Moore’s competitive practice mentality.

“Whenever he’d address the team, he always looked at it as, if you weren’t working hard, you were taking it for granted,” said Ferguson, a Freeport native. “And that was something that spoke volumes to me and I think that’s something that I’ll remember.

“He wasn’t just merely a player. He took it a step further. He wanted to represent players, being on the NFLPA and the executive board. And he had a passion for making sure players weren’t taken advantage of as a whole.”

Moore not only was someone who was “well-detailed,” according to Ferguson, but he also prided himself on being the consummate professional on and off the field.

Said the Jets left tackle: “Whenever you have a guy like that who’s no longer in the league, it’s like, ‘Man, that’s crazy. Because that guy represented so much to so many.”

Rex Ryan called Moore a "tremendous player," adding that he leaned on the veteran right guard during his first season as Jets head coach.

"He was a great person, a great teammate, a guy that was important to me," Ryan said. "...I guess you can't play this game forever, but I certainly appreciated the time he spent with us, for sure." 

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