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Should Cowboys Upgrade at Center with J.C. Tretter?

After the set their sights on gaining cap space by any means necessary this , the team has just over $15 million in the bank. That sounds good on the surface, but what’s the point in having cap space if you aren’t going to use it?

The offensive line is one area the Cowboys can target with that cap space. Three weeks ago, the cut center J.C. Tretter, and he remains unsigned despite being one of the best at his position.

Tretter posted a 78.7 grade with the Browns last season, the sixth-highest at his position. Arguably the league’s best pass-blocking center, his 83.7 pass-blocking grade ranked only behind the Chargers’ Corey Linsley. He’s consistently been one of the NFL’s highest-graded centers, posting PFF grades above 70 since 2018.

Tretter also brings something the Dallas offensive line has lacked in recent years: durability. He’s started at least 16 games in the past five seasons and has missed just one game since 2016. Tretter is also well-liked amongst players, being re-elected as President of the NFL Players Association on March 12.

Currently, the Cowboys employ at center. He’s had his moments, but has largely been average in his first two seasons. He had his chance to start a full season in 2021 and finished with a PFF grade of 65.1, the lowest of any starter on Dallas’ offensive line. Biadasz had a solid end to the , but has yet to play at a starting level consistently.

The playoff loss to the 49ers exposed glaring weaknesses in the Cowboys’ offensive line. The whole unit played poorly, including Biadasz, who gave up a sack. With the departures of and La’el Collins, it’s an area that needs fixing. Tretter would be a massive upgrade at one of the weakest positions on Dallas’ offensive line.

Tretter enters his 10th NFL season in 2022 and spent his time in Cleveland anchoring one of the league’s best offensive lines. The 31-year-old’s asking price should fit within Dallas’ , as he made around $10.85 million last season with a salary cap hit of around $11 million.

Outside of Tretter, there aren’t that many options to upgrade at center. Matt Paradis is the only other center with starting experience and wouldn’t be a clear upgrade from Biadasz. Iowa’s is an exciting prospect at center in the draft, but it’s unlikely he’ll fall to where Dallas picks at No. 24. Because options are lacking, it’s possible Dallas sticks with Biadasz at center. However, you risk running into the same problems as last season.

Other positions of need like and can be solved in the draft. Players like guards and and wide receivers and should be available at pick No. 24. The center class, outside of Linderbaum, is very thin. If the Cowboys want to solve their offensive line woes, they need to be aggressive. Tretter boosts the entire unit and brings stability to a position that’s needed repair since ’s .

What do you think?

Nick Coppola

Written by Nick Coppola

Student at the University of Oklahoma. Reporter for OU Daily. Junior Writer for Inside The Star. Contributor for Guns Up Nation.

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9 Comments

  1. My gut tells me they wanna give Tyler another year to see what they got there. If they do, they better draft a guard in the 1st round to put next to him. Can’t have two weak links at IOL again. Teams will keep living in our backfield if we don’t address this problem.

    • Agree gary b, I think they roll with TB another year and draft a stud LG to fortify the left side. LT is still a bit of a question mark though. Unfortunately, T Smith is not reliable with those constant injuries.

  2. We need a left tackle first! Yes Tron is still a good left tackle, but father time catches up to all of us. Trotter is a guy you pick up if your in a position to compete for the title. I think we need to retool this year, particularly the o_line. So no to Tretter. Keep TB and draft o_line as we should have done last year. Josh Ball, I’m hoping you were the steal of last years draft!

  3. Mixed thoughts on this proposition. Would he be an instant upgrade? Most likely, yes. But then, would the signing mean jettisoning/trading a 24-year-old, that was looking better toward the end of last year, for a 31-year-old, with maybe some question marks that Saul brought up in his comments here. Or would they be keeping TB also, whose growth then could be possibly stunted by lack of playing.

  4. I’m hearing different things about him I saw a video the other day 2 Dallas cowboys insiders were talking about Tretter saying that their people looked into it and that the report was his body might be giving out on him and he might even retire and him being apart of the player’s association could bring a rift in the locker but then you have this report saying nothing but good things about him both Cowboys sites 2 opinions??????

  5. T B showed me the first game of the season against the Buccaneers that he needs more lead in his Pants! I thought he preformed pretty well getting the ball back to Dak for most of the year, it’s just when he ends up in Daks lap before the ball gets there is what concerns me!

    • Clearly this is the area that needs upgrading on this team. Just rewatching the loss to the niners pains me. We had no business being in that game. They absolutely dominated up front on both sides. TB was a weakness all year along with Conner Williams. If they draft or sign a guard I’m not sure if you want to wait for TB to develop. It looks like he is what he is an average center with not much weight in his pants. Big boy center who won’t get blown off the line is fine with me. Draft pick or free agent would be helpful.

      • What you’re proposing makes perfect sense. That’s exactly why idiotic Stephen Jones won’t let it happen! Jerry always talks about wanting another Lombardi Trophy, but he and that dimwit son of his continues to make one bad decision after another every season that ultimately makes getting back to the big game an impossibility.

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