Waters was a former All-ACC quarterback and wide receiver at Clemson. Waters was drafted by the Dallas Cowboys as a defensive back in the third round of the 1970 NFL Draft. In 1970, he was named first-team NFL All-Rookie team. Throughout his 12-year NFL career Waters played in five Super Bowls-winning two- was named to three Pro Bowls, and the Second-Team All-Pro twice. His nine playoff interceptions are an NFL record, and he holds records for most interceptions in an NFC playoff game and 2nd all-time Dallas Cowboys career interceptions. After retiring from playing in 1981 he became an NFL coach for the Denver Broncos, a college coach at Oregon, and was a commentator for a short time. He was inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame in 2021.