After the first five years of Travis Frederick’s career, I don’t think many considered the center position an area that would need to be addressed.
When the Dallas Cowboys traded up from the fifth round to the end of the fourth to select Wisconsin center Tyler Biadasz, the comparisons to Frederick came quickly. Frederick was also a highly regarded center coming out of Wisconsin, even if draft analysts considered him a reach when the Cowboys took him at the end of the first round.
Tyler Biadasz had an illustrious career with the Badgers. He never missed a start in his college career even after having hip surgery before the 2019 season and dealing with an injury to the acromioclavicular (AC) joint in his shoulder. Biadasz was a Freshmen All-American. In 2019, he was the first Badger to win the Rimington Award for college football’s best center, a season in which he also earned first-team All-American honors.
Those are some pretty impressive credentials for a fourth-round draft pick. It turns out that AC joint injury might have scared some teams off, leading to Biadasz’s fall down the draft board. In addition to all of the other things that have gone on this offseason, rehabbing his injured AC joint after having an arthroscopic procedure to repair and clean out the joint this offseason, Biadasz says he’s “good to go.”
New Cowboys center Tyler Biadasz said his right shoulder (AC scope) is fully recovered and hasn’t limited him this offseason: “I’m good to go. I’m going out competing at my best and putting my best foot forward for this team.”
The center position was left in a bit of limbo when Travis Frederick decided to retire. Still, with a couple of in-house options in Joe Looney (18 starts in 2018) and Connor McGovern (13 starts as a sophomore), it appeared the Cowboys had options to replace Frederick. Even though he’s a fourth-round pick, the Cowboys might have found the future at center in Tyler Biadasz. After the draft, we found out just how much Cowboys Head Coach Mike McCarthy liked Biadasz as a player, which was the reason for the trade up to get him.
Stephen Jones says Mike McCarthy “spoke up big time” about Tyler Biadasz. McCarthy wanted to make sure they added to the competition and “got it right” regarding the center position.
Coming into the NFL as a rookie is no easy task. Even players that are picked in the first round often struggle to find their footing in their first season. Coming into the NFL during the current global health crisis and after rehabbing an injury puts a rookie behind the learning curve compared to his veteran counterparts.
Tyler Biadasz certainly has the experience at the position and enough talent to be able to earn a spot starting along the offensive line this summer. He’ll have to have a solid camp against an improved group of interior defensive linemen.
Getting healthy this offseason was the first step for Tyler Biadasz as he begins his NFL career. Now, as Biadasz enters his first NFL training camp, the Cowboys coaching staff needs Biadasz to thrust himself into the center competition if he can earn the starting job at center, even better.