For the better part of a decade, the identity of the Dallas Cowboys has been their offensive line. Elite play across the line, with a few on their way to Canton.
In 2021, the offensive line has overcame plenty of obstacles like Zack Martin testing positive with COVID and La’el Collins being suspended. Now, there’s another issue on the line that needs to be brought up: Tyler Biadasz.
Unlike Martin or Collins, Biadasz’s issues are entirely on the field.
Through the first 3 games, Biadasz is visibly struggling in pass protection. Most recently getting swallowed up by Philadelphia.
Javon Hargrave just absolutely demolished Tyler Biadasz on Dak’s fumble pic.twitter.com/xHfzJqMJGk
— Patrick (@76Iggles) September 28, 2021
He’s graded as the 27th overall center according to Pro Football Focus. He hasn’t allowed a sack yet, and has a run blocking grade of 69.1, 11th best in the league.
However, he only has a pass blocking grade of 27, near the worst among centers.
To be fair, Biadasz has faced quite the slew of defensive tackles so far: Vita Vea, Ndamukong Suh, Linval Joseph, Justin Jones, Javon Hargraves and Fletcher Cox.
Opposing defenses are bullying the young center, forcing the Dallas Cowboys guards to more often assist in pass protection.
It’s not as simple as Biadasz loses his spot after 3 starts. Biadasz only has 7 starts to his name and the only other full-time center on the roster is rookie Matt Farniok.
The team tried options like Connor Williams getting first-team reps in preseason at center, but no one wants to see this again.
The Connor Williams At Center experiment needs to end
— Blogging The Boys (@BloggingTheBoys) August 14, 2021
Truthfully, it’s baffling that the other Connor hasn’t gotten a chance to play center yet.
Connor McGovern was taken out of Penn State in 2019 with some of the best positional versatility in the draft. There he started 21 games at guard and 14 at center.
His ability to play all around the interior of the offensive line makes him one of the team’s most valuable linemen. Despite not being a full-time starter, he is graded among the best guards in the game.
In fact, the Dallas Cowboys have a number of players ranked near the top of their positions. Based on PFF grades:
Tyron Smith – 2nd out of 74
Terrance Steele – 11th out of 74
La’el Collins – 16th out of 74 (1 start)
Zack Martin – 2nd out of 68
Connor Williams – 9th out of 68
Connor McGovern – 7th out of 68
Tyler Biadasz – 27th out of 33
The surprise here being that the Dallas Cowboys posses 3 active guards all ranked in the top 10.
Grading systems aside, the goal is to have your best 5 players on the offensive line. Do the Cowboys have their best 5 starting?
Even more so, he showed so much growth in the offseason that he had taken the next step. Putting on dominant performances in preseason.
So why are the Cowboys keeping McGovern away from the center position?
They had no problem working him there earlier in his career.
Third round pick Connor McGovern working at center, former Clemson All-American Mitch Hyatt at left tackle during today’s first day of Cowboys’ rookie minicamp pic.twitter.com/PLLi1AW9TO
— Jon Machota (@jonmachota) May 10, 2019
There are many reasons why Connor Williams was tried at center and not the other, but unless Biadsz starts to play up to the standards of the players around him, the Cowboys need to revaluate.
Good news is the NFL season is more than 3 games. So everybody has time to fix their issues. Biadasz must play better with a team that looks like it can compete for a Super Bowl in February.
Head coach Mike McCarthy said a few weeks ago that moving Zack Martin to right tackle would be a ‘last option, emergency situation’. The center position isn’t dire just yet, but at the rate it’s going, there could be an emergency in middle of the line.
It might be too soon to take Biadasz out just yet. However, there doesn’t seem to be a valid contingency plan in place if he were to go down. McGovern is easily one of the team’s best offensive linemen and is going to get his chance to be a full-time starter, preferably sooner than later.