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Cowboys' Farniok Returns to Practice in Week 18


There is more good news coming out of Dallas as it relates to the health of the team as prep begins not only for the matchup in Washington but, more importantly, the playoffs

FRISCO, TX — Getting healthy at the right time can go a long way for the Dallas Cowboys' hopes of making a much-needed postseason run this season. Having been on the receiving end of plenty of bad news regarding injuries over the course of December, the team is now the beneficiary of some good tidings — this time involving offensive lineman Matt Farniok.

The loss of starting right tackle Terence Steele forced eight-time Pro Bowl left tackle Tyron Smith over to the right side of the offensive line, a position he hadn't played since his rookie season in 2011, and a high ankle sprain on center Tyler Biadasz suffered against the Tennessee Titans last week created a lot more shuffling.

Farniok, a second-year center selected in the seventh round of the 2021 NFL Draft, will see his 21-day practice window opened by the Cowboys when practice gets underway on Wednesday, per head coach Mike McCarthy, and not a moment too soon.

It is still likely Biadasz is back for the playoffs, yes, but the injury to Steele and Biadasz highlight the need for depth across the offensive front — something the Cowboys haven't lacked all season prior to now.

Farniok suffered a torn hamstring in October that landed him on injured reserve, and his absence from the matchup against the Washington Commanders in the regular season finale will again lead to starting left guard Connor McGovern moving to center.

That move created a vacuum that has pulled rookie first-round pick Tyler Smith to left guard and installed nine-time Pro Bowler Jason Peters at his base position of left tackle.

That's a lot of movement, but it's also something the Cowboys prepared themselves for when they worked through several different OL variations over the last several games (and in practice). Still, if Farniok is able to return for the playoffs, it would theoretically allow McGovern and [the younger] Smith to shift back to their base positions to allow Farniok to be insurance for Biadasz.

Farniok will have three weeks to prove he's physically ready to return, or the Cowboys will revert him back to injured reserve which, this time, would be season-ending.

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