Mackenzy Bernadeau eyes a training camp return

IRVING, Texas -- It was in May when newly acquired guard Mackenzy Bernadeau suffered a hip injury that required surgery. Bernadeau was working out at Valley Ranch when he slipped on the grass fields, and when the pain wouldn't go away surgery came quickly.

Bernadeau is out 12 weeks but has a goal of returning for training camp.

"Health is good coming off the surgery," Bernadeau said through the raindrops Thursday. "Rehab is going real well, everything is going as planned. I'm just excited to get back as soon as possible."

It was a tough situation for Bernadeau because the Cowboys signed him to a four-year $11 million contract to become an upgrade to the interior of the offensive line.

Guard Nate Livings was also signed in free agency by the Cowboys and the team took a chance on signing Ronald Leary as an undrafted free agent, another guard.

Offensive line upgrades were one focus this offseason for the Cowboys and Bernadeau, realizing this, wanted to help.

"That's the way I thought about it," he said. "I was disappointed it happened. You don't want to be the new guy that comes in and (gets hurt). As a new guy that comes in I want to earn the respect of my teammates and be ready to get on the field. At the same time, I have to to get healthy. It's better to play it safe and be ready for when the season (starts)."

Position flexibility is a buzz phrase around Valley Ranch these days when it comes to the offensive line. Bernadeau said he can play both guard spots, and he backed up center Ryan Kalil at Carolina.

"I've played all three interior spots," Bernadeau said. "I play whatever they tell me to play. I'm familiar with guard-center spot so I can definitely play all three interior spots."