There are a lot of assumptions floating around the position battle at center for the Dallas Cowboys. Namely that Rookie fourth-round pick Tyler Biadasz will earn the starting center job over the more experienced Joe Looney.
It’s certainly possible that Biadasz wins the job. However, as I wrote last weekI wrote last week, these rookies are coming into the NFL under very different and more difficult circumstances than the players that came before them.
In a typical offseason, rookies are able to participate in a rookie minicamp, full team minicamps, offseason training activities, training camp, and four to five preseason games. COVID-19 has changed everything about this offseason.
That means fewer practice and preseason reps for a rookie like Tyler Biadasz to prove he’s the superior player.
Remember, that Joe Looney was more than capable as a starter back in 2018 when the Dallas Cowboys went to the playoffs and Ezekiel Elliott led the league in rushing. Sure, the early part of that season was a struggle, but as we found out that had more to do with the wide receiver group than the absence of Travis Frederick.
Consistency and continuity are a couple of the more underrated traits you can have on the offensive line. Joe Looney’s experience should give him the edge to be the starter while Biadasz adapts to the NFL game; at least in the early part of the season.
Biadasz certainly comes into the NFL with a lot of experience and was a Remington Award winner given to College Football’s Best Center. The Dallas Cowboys thought enough of him to move up from the fifth round to the end of the fourth to take him in the 2020 NFL Draft. The talent is there. The opportunity, however, is not.
Practice reps are incredibly valuable and this year, those reps will be few and far between. As the Dallas Cowboys assemble their roster and attempt to determine who will be the starter, they’ll be doing so with very limited information.
Now, this isn’t to say that things could change during the course of the season. As the Cowboys practice more and learn more, it may become evident that Tyler Biadasz is a better option than Joe Looney. However, as things stand and without the benefit of seeing both men against live competition, the Cowboys will have to go with what they know works and at this point in time, that’s Joe Looney.