Bernadeau maintain tops spot at guard

OXNARD, Calif. -- As the Dallas Cowboys prepare for their padded practice at training camp, Mackenzy Bernadeau will continue to work as the first-team left guard.

Ronald Leary’s strained hamstring has improved, but not to the point where the Cowboys will remove him from the active/physically unable to perform list. Coach Jason Garrett said at the start of camp the hope was Leary would be able to return to practice on Tuesday. He was in shoulder pads in Saturday’s workout, and he continued his rehab on Sunday, which was the players’ day off.

Leary’s absence helps Bernadeau.

With first-round pick Zack Martin the starter at right guard, where Bernadeau started 26 games in 2012 and ’13, Bernadeau is competing with Leary for the left guard spot.

“You’re here to take advantage of every opportunity, but obviously you want Ron to get back healthy and have some fair competition,” Bernadeau said. “He’s a great player, and we’re just going to compete no matter what. The mindset is to be the best player I can be.”

Bernadeau played mostly left guard in his four-year run with the Carolina Panthers before joining the Cowboys as a free agent. In the spring. he was able to re-acclimate himself to the position, while also taking some turns at center.

“There’s a lot of different techniques,” Bernadeau said. “Just being away from the left side for two years. it’s a little bit of an adjustment. I’m right-hand dominant, so you punch with the inside hand, kicking out with your left leg. I’m confident on both sides now. I’m excited about the opportunity.”