The Cowboys never got in on the Carl Nicks' sweepstakes, and the Saints are hoping to replace Nicks with the second-best guard on the market in Ben Grubbs. But Dallas has gotten a guard, albeit for a lot less money and with a lot less fanfare.
Former Carolina Panther Mackenzy Bernadeau has reached a deal with the Cowboys, according to a source.
Bernadeau, 26, has 20 starts in four seasons, including 12 in 2010. He started one game last season, though he appeared in 15.
The money for Nicks was out of reach for the Cowboys. The top guard available in free agency signed a five-year, $47.5 million with the Buccaneers, making him the highest paid at his position. He got $31 million in guarantees.
The Cowboys will pay far less for Bernadeau, a 6-4, 308-pounder. He will compete with other young guards, including Bill Nagy and David Arkin. Nagy started four games before going on injured reserve with a fractured right ankle. Cowboys coach Jason Garrett called Arkin's first season a "redshirt season."
Veterans Montrae Holland and Derrick Dockery are unrestricted free agents, though starting right guard Kyle Kosier has two years left on his deal. Holland started 10 games at left guard last season, while Dockery started two.
Many mock drafts have the Cowboys selecting Stanford guard David DeCastro with the 14th overall choice.
-- Charean Williams