IRVING, Texas – You go to Bentley College to become a man of business, not an NFL offensive lineman. Mackenzy Bernadeau, however, is a sign that the league will find a player no matter where he is.
“My mentality the whole time was I’m going to the NFL ever since I was a little kid,” said Bernadeau, who grew up in Waltham, Mass., not far from the Bentley campus. “It was a lot tougher with Bentley but everything worked out well. It became more real after my junior pro day where the scouts came and gave me a grade, then my senior year scouts from every team came and looked at me.”
Carolina took Bernadeau in the seventh round of the 2008 draft and he started 20 games in four years for the Panthers. The Cowboys signed him to a four-year, $11 million deal as a free agent in March, but hip and knee injuries kept him out of the offseason and early part of training camp.
He started two preseason games at right guard and will make his regular-season Cowboys debut Wednesday against the Giants.
He will be the first offensive lineman to wear No. 73 since Larry Allen. Bernadeau was up on his Cowboys’ history, too.
“Who doesn’t know who that is?” Bernadeau said. “I’ve had the number since high school but it’s tough shoes to fill when you’ve got a future Hall of Famer who played the game. It’s definitely made me work harder. I haven’t had the chance to meet him yet but I’d love to meet him and pick his mind because he was a beast when he played.”