Nick Harris

Left Guard Candidates Sound Off on Competition

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23 May 2023: Chuma Edoga (71) of the Dallas Cowboys during an OTA practice at the Ford Center at The Star in Frisco, Texas. Photo by James D. Smith/Dallas Cowboys

FRISCO, Texas — One of the intriguing storylines surrounding Mike McCarthy's offense going into the summer is the situation at left guard after Connor McGovern's departure and Terence Steele's ongoing recovery from a torn ACL.

During the media availability at OTAs on Thursday afternoon, Matt Farniok took the majority of first-team reps at left guard as the third-year offensive lineman continues to just take the process day-by-day.

"Just continue to do my job better than I did it yesterday," Farniok said about his mindset this offseason. "Learn from any mistake I make and don't repeat it and just continue to be a better football player than I was."

Dallas Cowboys executive vice president Stephen Jones talked up the addition of Chuma Edoga during a media availability last week, as the fifth-year guard is looking to contribute however the coaching staff sees fit.

"I'm just ready to play wherever the coaches put me," Edoga said. "Whether that's guard or tackle. Right now, it's early in the process so I'm just accepting my role and playing wherever I need to play."

The same mindset exists with third-year offensive lineman Josh Ball who is also just looking to contribute however he can in 2023.

"Whatever the coaches decide is the right thing, that's what's gonna happen," Ball said. "If that opportunity arises, that'd be great, but whatever I can do to help the team."

Despite the many names around the carousel, there is a high confidence in the offensive line living up to what the group has accomplished in recent years to protect Dak Prescott. It's something that each has attributed to the camaraderie in the room, including the only newcomer in Edoga.

"They have a real close-knit room, I'm the only new guy," Edoga said. "They did a good job accepting me and bringing me along. Whoever is up there playing, we'll have a great five."

The competition in the room has been fierce, but each candidate would tell you that it's been healthy and it will only help improve the overall product up front in 2023 and beyond.

"A battle is always going to make everyone better," Farniok said. "You gotta embrace it and love it. Every chance you get to go up against a challenge, you have a chance to respond. It's a great opportunity."

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