Once again, the Cowboys find themselves with over 20 players who have expiring contracts. But still, there's a large percentage of players on the roster already in place. Over the next few weeks, the staff writers will evaluate those players under contract, reviewing their past performances with an outlook to the future. Today, we'll continue the series with guard/center Matt Farniok.
What Worked: When called upon, Farniok proved his worth as a backup lineman who can play multiple spots. In 2022, the injuries took place mostly at left guard. Farniok was injured late in the season and on IR when center Tyler Biadasz went down for a game, eliminating his chance to get some center snaps. But overall, he was a capable backup that jumped into the starting lineup when needed.
Needs Some Work: Like most young lineman, Farniok could likely bulk up even more in his upper body. Listed at 6-5, 315, Farniok has some lateral quickness to his game, but will always have a challenge when facing shorter, but stronger interior defensive linemen. Also, when considered a position flex player like he is, Farniok must figure out how to master not one but two positions at guard and center to compete for a starting spot or be the game-day backup on the interior.
His Best Work: Just look at the two games Farniok started in Weeks 2-3, the Cowboys went up against a pair of playoff teams with good defenses. Farniok was able to hold up against the Bengals and Giants, keeping backup QB Cooper Rush upright for most of the game as the Cowboys pulled off a pair of big wins.
Contract Consideration: As a seventh-round pick in 2021, Farniok still has two years left on his original four-year deal. He will count just under $1 million on the cap this season and is expected to hit the cap for $1.08 million next year.
What's Next: This one is still tough to answer considering the Cowboys haven't addressed the interior line that much in the offseason, other than the signing of veteran Chuma Edoga. But even his presence won't stop players from Farniok for at least competing for the left guard spot or even backup. The fact the Cowboys seem overly committed to keeping Tyler Smith at left tackle is a good thing for players such as Farniok that are looking to compete. Let's see what happens in the NFL Draft, but it does appear as if Farniok will get the chance to compete at the guard and center spots and should be someone that is active on game day in 2023.