Cowboys guard Mackenzy Bernadeau's restructured contract includes a $1.15 million pay cut for 2014, reports USA Today. He started 11 games last season and figures to start at right guard this fall.
In order to get under the league's salary cap the Cowboys restructured the contract of right guard Mackenzy Bernadeau, ESPN reported Friday. Bernadeau started 11 games for the Cowboys and held up well. He was set to count $4 million against the cap this year before changing his contract.
Cowboys owner Jerry Jones said offensive lineman Mackenzy Bernadeau will replace Brian Waters in the starting lineup now that Waters is out for the season with a triceps injury.
"[Bernadeau] started for us the entire year last year and played well, came in and played about 20 snaps and played well (Week 8 at Detroit)," Jones said on 105.3 The Fan. "Then, we’ll look to what we do with depth off our practice squad."
Bernadeau started the first three games before Waters bumped him from the starting lineup in Week 4.
"It’s an adjustment just for the fact that you go from being in the game all the time to being on the sideline and waiting around," Bernadeau said Monday, per the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "You never want anybody to go down and get hurt. At the same time, when your number is called, you’ve got to be prepped, and that’s how I’ll be."
Cowboys right guard Brian Waters worked with the first team in Wednesday's practice, ahead of starter Mackenzy Bernadeau, reports the Dallas Morning News. Waters played half the snaps against the Rams in Week 3 after playing 27 percent of the snaps in Week 2, the report said.
Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said guard Brian Waters could play against the Chiefs Week 2 in a rotation at right guard with Mackenzy Bernadeau. However, no decision has been made since the team is still evaluating how much Waters can do.
When the Cowboys' Doug Free moved from right tackle to right guard, it forced Mackenzy Bernadeau to shift from right guard to left guard. Bernadeau told ESPN.com it's a significant adjustment but it helps that he's played on the left side before.
“It’s just more practice on your technique and repetitions on the plays,” Bernadeau said. “I’ve played left before, so I was familiar with it. The whole offseason I pretty much worked the right side with my steps and getting in synch with the kick and timing and so it’s just an adjustment with that and getting used to doing it with the opposite leg, opposite side and opposite hand.”
Cowboys defensive lineman Jason Hatcher (groin), guard Mackenzy Bernadeau and safety Danny McCray (hamstring) did not practice Monday after suffering injuries during Saturday's preseason game against the Bengals. Guards Ronald Leary and Nate Livings were also sidelined as they recover from knee surgery.
The Cowboys' offensive line got thinner Thursday when left guard Nate Livings sat out with a sore right knee. An MRI has been ordered.
Per the Dallas Morning News, the Cowboys fear they'll be without Livings for "a while."
The Cowboys are woefully thin on guards right now as Mackenzy Bernadeau, Kevin Kowalski, Ryan Cook and Ray Dominguez are all hurt.