Bubble watch: Kevin Kowalski, David Arkin

OXNARD, Calif. – Injuries present opportunities.

Kevin Kowalski and David Arkin never expected to be in the starting lineup when the Cowboys had their first training camp practice on Sunday, but with Nate Livings, Mackenzy Bernadeau and Ronald Leary on the sidelines because of injuries they were able to get the snaps.

In Tim MacMahon’s 53-man roster projections, Kowalski is on the team and Arkin is not. The added work in practice helps their chances to earn notice from the coaches.

Arkin received the bulk of the work at right guard in Bernadeau’s absence last season because of knee and hip surgeries. This year he benefitted from Bernadeau’s strained hamstring suffered in the conditioning test.

Kowalski was third on the depth chart at guard behind Livings and Leary, but now he gets work he didn’t get last year because of an ankle injury that kept him out until nearly the midway point of last season.

Their chances are helped by some position flexibility, but Kowalski is the more natural center of the two. Both players took some snaps with the quarterbacks in pre-practice work but not in team drills.

“We’ve got a lot of football to be played before we play the Giants in the opener and we have to do the right things as an organization to get these guys out there practicing when they’re ready to do that,” coach Jason Garrett said. “We’ll do that but in the meantime other guys get opportunities to show what they can do.”