Dallas Cowboys: Is it time to replace Tyler Biadasz at center?

(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

The Dallas Cowboys have had their share of adversity this season and largely stepped up to the task. They handled the loss of basically their entire starting defensive line. They handled the loss of La’el Collins on the offensive line. They’ve handled the loss of cornerback Kelvin Joseph and safety Donovan Wilson. They’ve even handled the loss of receiver Michael Gallup.

But one issue they haven’t seemed to overcome this young season is the development of their center, Tyler Biadasz. Biadasz, a second year Day 3 pick from the 2020 NFL Draft, has been penciled in as the starting center from the day he was drafted.

Despite Biadasz’s inconsistent play and questionable pass-protection, the Dallas Cowboys have been fairly unwavering in their plans with the second-year center out of Wisconsin. Two weeks into the 2021 season and they may want to rethink that stance….

If the Dallas Cowboys want to get their best five O-linemen on the field together they need to re-start the experiments at center.

For the third week in a row, Tyler Biadasz has been the weak spot in an otherwise stout offensive line. Even Collins’ replacement at RT, Terence Steele, has been decent in his play this season. If it wasn’t for the center position, this O-line would be almost unstoppable.

Tyler Biadasz is currently ranked the 27th center out of 33 gradable players (he was 32nd ranked last season). That’s not good, my friends. It’s easy to see why too. Biadasz has been routinely handled at the line this year. This isn’t a case of a couple “low light” plays that people like to use against Williams, but a fairly consistent observation in his play.

In all fairness, the Dallas Cowboys O-line has been going against some pretty beastly defensive interiors. Biadasz alone has faced off against Vita Vea and Javon Hargrave, which is something I wouldn’t wish on my worst enemy. And the guards next to him have their hands full with Fletcher Cox and Ndamukong Suh so they could always offer help.

In the clip above be sure to pay attention to the top of the screen at the receiver running wide open on the fly route. Dak was trying to hit him and it would have sealed the game for Dallas. Instead, pressure up the middle killed the pass, and we know how that Week One story ended.

Identifying the problem is always the easy part. It’s finding solutions that tend to cause disagreement. Without a clear replacement center on the roster, the Dallas Cowboys will need to get creative to address this issue.

It seems ridiculous McGovern, the 7th rated guard in the NFL, is stuck on the bench while Biadiasz, the 27th rated center struggles so badly.

They either need to roll starting guard Connor Williams over to play center or bring top reserve guard Connor McGovern in to take the middle spot. Dallas, possibly sensing this very issue, tried to work Williams at center in training camp. It did not go well. Williams was great from a blocking perspective but he struggled mightily delivering the snap – which is kinda a big deal.

With a year of experience playing center at Penn State, Connor McGovern is the obvious solution. Especially since he’s the sixth linemen Dallas is trying so hard to get on the field. But the fact they first went to Williams and, outside of a couple snaps in camp, they haven’t even tried McGovern at center in any live action (preseason or otherwise), should be telling. They clearly don’t see McGovern as a center.

Pro Football Focus has BOTH Connors ranked inside the NFL’s top-10 this year. Even with Williams’ holding calls and even with McGovern’s reserve status, both players have graded spectacularly this year, play in and play out. It seems ridiculous McGovern, the 7th rated guard in the NFL, is stuck on the bench while Biadiasz, the 27th rated center struggles so badly.

The Dallas Cowboys can’t afford to go through the growing pains of Williams botching a snap or two each week. That could dramatically swing the turnover differential back in the wrong direction which would be a clear step in the wrong direction. But they need to start working Williams at center in practice and eventually start easing him into game action (starting with non-shotgun situations).

If Williams can get his muscle memory working, we may have a viable replacement option in a month or two. And hey, maybe Biadasz develops at the same time and Williams doesn’t need to replace him down the road. That’s fine too. Prepare for the worst and hope for the best, right?

What we can’t do is just accept this is the way it is and leave a great young interior lineman like Connor McGovern on the bench and/or taking snaps at FB.

Trending. The Dallas Cowboys are quietly the 13th ranked defense. light

The Dallas Cowboys don’t need to give up on Biadasz but they do need to work on contingency plans.

  • Published on 09/29/2021 at 12:56 PM
  • Last updated at 09/29/2021 at 20:05 PM