What better time than Christmas time to celebrate a gift our NFC East buddies gave us nearly two seasons ago? A gift that just seems to get better each Christmas. A gift that came at just the right time and filled a very special need. The gift of Tyler Biadasz.
The year was 2020, and after receiving news All Pro offensive lineman Travis Frederick would be retiring at age 29, the Dallas Cowboys found themselves suddenly in the market for a starting center.
Sadly, free agency had already kicked off and viable options to replace him had long disappeared. Adding to the tragic timing was an especially thin draft class. While the class of 2020 boasted a sleigh-load of elite OT talent and WR riches, it was thinner than the Charlie Brown Christmas Tree in NFL center prospects.
Dallas Cowboys fans should thank a certain division rival for the gift of Tyler Biadasz
But the Dallas Cowboys saw potential in a certain Wisconsin product. Going back to the well that once brought them Fredbeard in the first place, the Cowboys went after the 2019 Rimington Award winner (Top center in college football) after he started to slip in the draft.
Three months prior, Biadasz revealed at the NFL Combine he had arthroscopic surgery on his shoulder after his last season of play. This development caused some teams to shy away from the award winning center. To the Dallas Cowboys it explained the perceived slippage in strength/power he showed his final season.
As all Dallas Cowboys fans remember, 2020 was a year of riches for Dallas. Bargain after bargain fell into Dallas’ laps and no matter how carefully they planned their strategy, they simply couldn’t pass up all of those “steals”.
After pouncing on CeeDee Lamb, Trevon Diggs, and Neville Gallimore in the first three stanzas, and taking a big swing on Reggie Robinson II in Round 4, they turned their attention back to Biadasz who was shockingly still on the board. Not wanting to wait until it was their turn, Dallas got aggressive and hit the phones.
It didn’t take long before Dallas found their trade partner. Their NFC East rival Philadelphia Eagles handed Dallas Pick 146 and asked for a handful of fifth rounders in return. And the rest is history.
Like most mid-round rookies, Biadasz struggled a little in Year 1. But he impressed as a dominant run blocker and showed promise as pass-protector. Most importantly he seemed to immediately show leadership traits and the intelligence needed to man the center position for years to come.
This season Tyler Biadasz has turned a corner and the last few weeks he has been one of the best centers in the NFL. If fact, if we eliminate that Week 1 clunker against Tampa, he’s been 6th rated in pressures allowed, 1st rated in sacks allowed, and 4th rated in pass blocking efficiency.
According to the numbers from hogsty.com, a fourth round offensive lineman has roughly a 27% chance of being a steady starter at the NFL level. But Tyler Biadasz isn’t just impressing us based on his draft status and by simply being a starter, he’s showing the traits of a top-end NFL center.
On the clip above his ability to pull and block up field is nothing short of elite. While he may always struggle with power and the bull-rush, his athleticism gives him an advantage elsewhere. At just 24-years-old he’s still far from reaching his potential as a pro and even here in the second half of Year 2 he’s proving to be a real asset to the Dallas Cowboys and not just a groomable prospect.
And we all have the Philadelphia Eagles to thank for it. Thanks Philly for giving us the gift that just keeps on giving!