Bernadeau ready to compete for guard spot

IRVING, Texas -- When the Dallas Cowboys selected Zack Martin in the first round of last month's draft, Mackenzy Bernadeau didn't need to be told what it meant.

Like first-round picks before him on the offensive line, Tyron Smith (2011) and Travis Frederick (2013), Martin is being plugged in as a starter. The Cowboys have plugged him in at right guard, where Bernadeau has started 26 games the last two seasons.

"I know the business," Bernadeau said. "I know he's going to come in and play somewhere. Not knowing obviously where it's going to happen but I was prepped to know if he's ready to come in take the right side I'll be competing or trying to play the left side or just be ready to prepare to if I need to play all three interior positions. I knew myself and I didn't have to have a conversation with anybody."

Bernadeau has worked with the first team at left guard during the organized team activities and will compete with Ronald Leary for a starting spot. Leary started every game at left guard in 2013. Bernadeau has been taking some backup center snaps as well.

"Since I've been here I'm always going to be ready for all three spots, left side, center, right side," Bernadeau said. "I'm always prepping for that."

Bernadeau, who accepted a pay cut during the offseason over the next two seasons, played left guard for the Carolina Panthers. He said the difference between playing on the right or left side is, "like learning to write with your left hand instead of your right hand," but his previous experience helps.

He had to get used to right tackle Doug Free the last two years, but has spent time getting used to playing next to Tyron Smith in 2014.

"It's more important to get used to the guys next to you and what their steps are than the techniques because I played both sides before," Bernadeau said.

Perhaps most importantly for Bernadeau is that he is on the field at all in the offseason. He missed his first offseason with the Cowboys because of hip surgery and was limited last year because of shoulder surgery.

"It's great to be able to get a full offseason in," Bernadeau said. "Hopefully I'll stay healthy."