So far it appears that the Dallas Cowboys are content to let Tyler Biadasz retain the role of starting center in 2021. But with the draft still to come and a few other key free agency dates ahead, could Biadasz get some more competition for the job before training camp?
About a year ago, Dallas traded up to draft Biadasz toward the end of the 4th Round. He ended up starting four games in 2020 with injuries to Joe Looney and various other members of the Cowboys offensive line
If it hadn't been for his own hamstring injury and being placed on injured reserve, Biadasz likely would've finished the season as starting center. The rookie was improving as he played and eventually graded out slightly higher than Looney according to Pro Football Focus.
As of now Looney remains unsigned in free agency and the Cowboys haven't added any other new talent with center experience. Outside of Biadasz, in-house options like Connor McGovern and Adam Redmond feel more like depth than legitimate competition.
This isn't to say that Biadasz is simply the starter by default. Dallas clearly thought enough to trade up for him in 2020 and he performed adequately despite having his rookie year marred by the pandemic and numerous injuries on offense. There's a strong case to let him come back and build on a promising foundation.
That said, we're less than two weeks away from the 2021 NFL Draft and the Cowboys have a lot of ammunition to use. With extra selections in the 3rd and 4th Rounds from compensatory picks, Dallas could potentially add a significant interior lineman to give Biadasz some real competition.
Still ahead of us too are the May 3rd and June 1st dates in free agency. After May 3rd, players signed to your roster no longer affect the compensatory pick formula for 2022. The Cowboys may have their eyes on some free agents and are just waiting for after the draft to make that move.
Re-signing players doesn't affect the compensatory formula at any time, so this doesn't necessarily help Joe Looney. But the longer he remains unsigned, Looney could eventually agree to another bargain deal to return to Dallas if they still want him.
June 1st is the date when players can be released and have a portion of the dead money on their contracts deferred to next season. With salary cap issues rampant throughout the league this year, we could see a higher number of cuts in June than in typical offseasons. This could put a few new options on the market for Dallas to consider.
Again, this isn't to say that the Cowboys should be looking for another option. Tyler Biadasz showed good things as a rookie and could make exponential progress with more stability in his offseason and in the health of his offensive teammates. It's reasonable for Dallas to ride with him as starting center in 2021.
Right now, though, Biadasz has that job by default. We'll see if Dallas makes it more of a fight with any roster additions over the next two months.