Dallas Cowboys: Tyler Biadasz at the center of controversy

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports
Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports /

Name a weak spot on this Dallas Cowboys offense. Come on I dare you. Outside of the center position, I’m not sure if anything the Cowboys have resembles anything close to a weakness. Such is the nature of what many consider to be the NFL’s top offense.

Even with the loss of Michael Gallup, the receiving corps has been stellar. The pairing of Blake Jarwin and Dalton Schultz at tight end is formidable. The one-two punch of Ezekiel Elliott and Tony Pollard is dominant. Pro Football Focus graded the Cowboys two starting guards in the top-10, LT Tyron Smith is ranked No. 2 in the NFL, and even La’el Collins‘ replacement at RT is graded in the top 35th percentile. It’s that pesky center position that’s causing all the problems…

The Dallas Cowboys only weak spot on offense is right in the middle of their O-line.

Starting center Tyler Biadasz has not progressed this season like many of us hoped he would. The second year lineman from Wisconsin had big shoes to fill replacing Travis Frederick. It’s perfectly possible some unrealistic expectations were set.

But regardless of that, it’s been clear Tyler Biadasz has not been performing even up to minimum standards. His 54.8 score ranks him 30/35 this season. In the week five win against New York, he only showed slight improvement grading up less than four points over his season average.

With an excellent reserve lineman like Connor McGovern sitting on ice, the Dallas Cowboys have options. Last week I personally lobbied to give Connor Williams another shot at center. Dallas experimented with him in the middle in training camp and it didn’t go well. Williams struggled with the snap (which is kinda a big deal) so the Cowboys aborted. But after seeing Biadasz repeatedly struggle to deliver snaps on Sunday, what do the Cowboys really have to lose?

Now we’ve been receiving word the Cowboys are giving Connor McGovern reps at center. McGovern, the NFL’s No. 3 rated guard this season, has been looking for excuses to get on the field, playing guard, tight end, and even full back this season.

It stands to reason he’ll be a significant upgrade over Biadasz, at least from a blocking perspective. The only thing he has to really hone is that pesky snap situation Williams struggled with in camp. But again, given Biadasz’s struggles last week snapping the ball, why not roll the dice with someone who’s clearly a better blocker?

The wrench in this whole shift is the long-term plans of this Dallas team. With LG Connor Williams set to hit free agency, Connor McGovern is slated to take over his spot in 2022. Biadasz is still the most viable long-term option at center for the Dallas Cowboys.

The last thing the Cowboys want to do is stunt the growth of their top center prospect only to flip back to him again next year. Then again, if there’s a better option on the O-line (McGovern) isn’t it their responsibility to use him?

As you can see, there’s a little nuance involved in this situation. The Dallas Cowboys still like Tyler Biadasz long-term, but they also feel obligated to play their top-5 offensive linemen.

The smart play is to ease McGovern into the position by splitting snaps at practice. If they grow comfortable with his snaps over the next couple weeks, then the move is a no-brainer. Biadasz is grading as the 33/35 center in pass protection this season and Dallas simply cannot afford to put Dak Prescott‘s health in jeopardy.

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Next. Time to replace Tyler Biadasz at center?. dark

Nothing has to be forced or done today. This can be a slow grooming process over the next couple weeks. But once McGovern shows the ability to cleanly snap, Biadasz’s days should be numbered because getting the best five on the field this season, trumps any plans they may have for next season.