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Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Mackenzy Bernadeau injury could open door

By Calvin Watkins

Guard Mackenzy Bernadeau underwent hip surgery over the weekend and will be out for as long as 12 weeks. He will most likely miss the entire offseason of work at Valley Ranch, including the veteran minicamp in June.

He could even miss the first week of training camp and return in August.

You can take this as a major blow to a team that just signed Bernadeau to a four-year, $11 million deal in free agency. Or it can be seen as a chance for other players to get some reps with the first-team offense.

The Cowboys have depth in the interior of the line with David Arkin, Bill Nagy, Kevin Kowalski and Ronald Leary.

Arkin wasn't active for any games last season as a rookie, getting a redshirt if you will. Nagy started three games before his season ended with a broken ankle.

The coaches like Kowalski's toughness and his ability to play center. Leary can play both guard spots and, despite a chronic knee problem, had a mid-round draft grade on some NFL teams' boards.

Of course, the Cowboys have Nate Livings, whom they signed in free agency along with Bernadeau. Livings said he can play left and right guard, which is a positive thing for a team that wants versatility with its linemen.

While yes, Bernandeau's loss should concern you a little, there are others waiting to get some work over the summer and the early stages of training camp. That can help with the overall development of the team.

And to say Bernadeau's injury could lead to more problems is unfair. He was listed just once on the injury report last season with Carolina, and that was in Week 1.

Bernadeau should be ready to go at some point in 2012. Until that time, there is depth on the roster, which is good.