Matt Farniok brings some experience to Chicago’s practice squad. The offensive lineman saw time in 19 games for the Cowboys over the past two seasons, including a pair of starts. The former seventh-round pick also has some special teams experience.
Kyron Johnson got into 16 games for the Eagles in 2022, with the majority of his snaps coming on special teams. He finished the season with eight tackles.
Quinton Bohanna spent the past two years in Dallas after being selected in the sixth round of the 2021 draft. He got into 27 games (10 starts) over the past two years, collecting 29 tackles while playing both on defense and special teams. The Cowboys added first-round defensive tackle Mazi Smith this offseason, making Bohanna expendable.
The Cowboys fielded a revolving door at left guard last year and, for now, it looks like it may continue revolving through the summer. According to Michael Gehlken of The Dallas Morning News, Dallas is looking into multiple possibilities to replace Connor McGovern, who departed for Buffalo in free agency back in March.
The favorite to man the newly open starting spot is Tyler Smith, who manned the position at times last season when he wasn’t at left tackle. With Tyron Smith back to healthy, Tyler can shift inside for good this season. The younger Smith embraced the opportunity to work at guard recently, asserting that being elite at both positions will ultimately help the team the most.
The Cowboys haven’t limited the versatility training to Smith. Gehlken reports that multiple other linemen have received time at both guard and tackle this offseason. Matt Farniok, who has worked mostly at interior line positions so far in Dallas, has been working outside. Chuma Edoga has worked at right tackle and left guard, as well. Even second-year lineman Matt Waletzko was approached by offensive line coach Mike Solari to work at guard for the first time in his life.
As of right now, it looks to be a starting lineup of Tyron Smith at left tackle, Tyler Smith at left guard, Tyler Biadasz at center, Zack Martin at right guard, and Terence Steele at right tackle. With Steele still coming back from a late season-ending ACL and MCL tear, many in the building would like to see Tyler Smith continue to develop at tackle. In the meantime, it seems that Dallas is keeping its options open for both positions.
Here are a few other rumors coming out of Arlington:
Rookie second-round tight end out of Michigan Luke Schoonmaker has been dealing with a plantar fascia issue, reportedly wearing a walking boot on his right foot last week. According to Jon Machota of The Athletic, Schoonmaker was out of the boot this week but was still limited to just sideline work. The injury isn’t considered serious, as he’s expected to be ready for the start of training camp, according to head coach Mike McCarthy.
Owner, president, and general manager Jerry Jones continues to leave the door open for a reunion with veteran running back Ezekiel Elliott, according to Machota. His son, and team CEO, Stephen Jones says that the team is looking into adding a bigger back. They signed fullback Hunter Luepke undrafted out of North Dakota State and signed the stout Ronald Jones in free agency, but Elliott could always find his way back to Dallas despite both parties continuing to explore their options.
Lastly, another report from Machota claims confidence that wide receiver and return specialist KaVontae Turpinshould find a spot on the Cowboys’ eventual 53-man roster. While rookie running back Deuce Vaughn and Malik Davis got some opportunities to handle return duties in recent weeks, Turpin is a much more explosive and proven option. It also doesn’t hurt that Turpin has been getting some serious run with the second-team wide receiver group.
An avulsion fracture cost Tyron Smith most of last season, and the All-Decade tackle has missed at least three games each year dating back to 2016. The Cowboys are retaining their longest-tenured player on a restructured contract, however, and he is likely moving to right tackle on a full-time basis.
Jerry Jones said the Cowboys are planning to roll out a Tyron Smith-Tyler Smith setup at tackle. That will leave two-year right tackle starter Terence Steele, the team’s preferred La’el Collins successor last year, without a starting role. But the Cowboys prioritized Steele via a second-round restricted free agent tender, doing so despite his lack of a clear path to a first-string gig. He remains in the team’s plans, just not as a starter at present.
Steele is primarily set to become Dallas’ swing tackle, Jones added. This would be a significant downgrade for the quality starter in a contract year, but the Fort Worth Star-Telegram’s Clarence Hill notes (via Twitter) Steele will be considered at guard. Steele graded as a top-25 option at tackle last season, per Pro Football Focus, who also viewed Tyler Smith as a top-25 tackle. This would be a good problem for the Cowboys, who have needed to make adjustments in recent years due to Collins and Tyron Smith running into injury trouble.
“He’s such a top tackle … as we have it right now, he should be the backup tackle on both sides as we would look at it right today,” Jones said of Steele. “That’s a lot of position flex right there. You say, ‘Why don’t you move Tyler in [to guard]?’ but we also know that Tyron and Tyler both would make quite a tandem out there. The smart play would be to have outstanding depth there and Steele gives you that.”
Jones also mentioned a possible rotation, which would seemingly involve Steele and Tyron Smith. Even as the organization has moved Tyron off his longtime spot (left tackle), Hill adds it views the Hall of Fame candidate as a superior pass-blocking option to Steele on the right side. Tyron finished last season as Dallas’ primary right tackle, replacing Steele after the younger blocker suffered a torn ACL. For now, the Cowboys will carry all three at tackle.
PFF slotted Steele as a top-10 run blocker at the position, which could open the door to a guard path. Steele was a four-year starter at Texas Tech but played either right or left tackle for the Big 12 program. Dallas did lose its starting left guard in free agency for a second straight year, with Connor McGovern (Bills) following Connor Williams (Dolphins) to the AFC East. Jones pointed to the draft or another in-house solution, mentioning Matt Waletzko or Matt Farniok, as routes the team could take to replace McGovern. The Cowboys chose Waletzko in the 2022 fifth round and added Farinok in the 2021 seventh. Farniok started two games at guard last season; Waletzko played just three games before a shoulder injury shut him down.