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August 07, 2013

Mackenzy Bernadeau, who is fighting through his hamstring injury, doesn't take Cowboys' pursuit of a veteran OG personally

Mackenzy Bernadeau did not take the Cowboys' pursuit of Brandon Moore personally. Moore agreed to terms with the Cowboys on Tuesday but never showed up to training camp, retiring Wednesday morning instead.

The Cowboys pursued Moore to compete with Bernadeau for the right guard spot.

"I'm confident in my ability and what I can do," Bernadeau, 27, said. "I'm focused on getting better every day and being prepared to play."

The Cowboys signed Bernadeau to a four-year, $11 million contract last off-season. Although he played in all 16 games last season, he has missed a lot of practice time with three surgeries since arriving in Dallas. He missed the 2013 off-season after shoulder surgery. He then missed the first two weeks of training camp after injuring his hamstring in the conditioning test.

Bernadeau still is struggling with the injury, though he returned to practice last Friday.

"He’s getting there," Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said. "He’s a little rusty. There’s no question about that. The difficult thing with Mackenzy is he played a lot of football for us last year during the season. ...But he missed the offseason leading up to last season, and he’s missed this offseason. So when you miss a lot of that time, that’s really when you can grow and develop. He’s still a young player. He has not started that many games. But injuries have bothered him since he’s been here. So he’s just getting back into the mix again. I think he’s practiced OK. He’s trying to knock some rust off."

Bernadeau, 27, is one of several injured guards, though he is on the field. Kevin Kowalski, Ryan Cook, Jeff Olson and Ray Dominguez missed practice Tuesday.

Bernadeau said the Cowboys' pursuit of a veteran guard is not what drives him.

"I'm motivated to try to be one of the best guards I can be," he said. "I'm motivated to be one of the best guards in the league. It's the business of the league. At the same time, we are beat up on the interior of the line. We need some depth there. The coaching staff knows that. We've got to do what we've got to do to help the team. If that means bringing in somebody else, so be it. But I feel confident in the guys in there now."

-- Charean Williams




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