(Editor's Note: Over the next month, the staff of DallasCowboys.com is looking to answer the 20 biggest questions facing the team heading into 2021. Today, we'll take a look at the center position.)
FRISCO, Texas – There could be a major passing of the torch happening on the inside of the offensive line.
Tyler Biadasz isn't exactly an unknown. The Cowboys made the former Rimington Award winner a fourth-round draft pick last spring, and he was a regular in the lineup last year.
Still, the center position is poised to look a lot different in 2021. Travis Frederick held down the starting job for six seasons, while Joe Looney was a crucial backup and a two-year starter during his five years with the team.
Frederick retired last spring, and Looney is currently an unsigned free agent, leaving Biadasz as the only center on the Cowboys' roster with NFL experience.
It poses a very natural question:
18) Do The Cowboys Need More Experience At Center?
Mickey Spagnola: They have very little. Tyler Biadasz has the most entering his second season, having started four of his 12 games last year during his rookie season. I've got no problem with Wisconsin's 2019 Rimington Award winner starting this season. Guys on the team compare him favorably to another Wisconsin center, Travis Frederick. But the Cowboys have to figure out who's the backup. Third-year offensive lineman Connor McGovern played the position for only one season at Penn State, but that was in 2017 and was drafted by the Cowboys in the third round of 2019 predominantly as a guard, where he mostly worked last season. The Cowboys also selected guard Matt Famiok in the seventh round this year, but immediately moved him to center. The two-time captain at Nebraska spent most of his time there playing tackle and guard, though he did start one game at center. It would be great if McGovern could develop into a backup guard/center, to take the place of Joe Looney, who served in that capacity for the Cowboys when not forced to start.
Nick Eatman: I think that's a big need right now – experience at center, someone to count on. And it's not to say that Tyler Biadasz can't handle the job. He showed enough promise last year as a rookie to think he can make the jump. But if he doesn't, there's just not any real experience behind him. The other candidates on the roster are guys that didn't even play center a lot in college in Farniok and McGovern. So that's a spot I could see the Cowboys exploring in either a trade or the waiver wire. And we know Joe Looney is still out there so it wouldn't surprise me if they address that spot before the start of the season.
David Helman: I'm not trying to knock Tyler Biadasz, but it's surprising to me that the Cowboys don't seem to be creating competition at the center spot. Yes, Connor McGovern and Matt Farniok played some center in college, but neither one of those guys has snapped the ball in an NFL game. I have high hopes for what Biadasz can be, but I wouldn't mind signing a veteran to come to camp and push him. It just doesn't seem like there's anyone else on the roster who can provide that competition. If that doesn't happen, maybe this is a situation the front office tries to address at the end of the preseason. We've seen them make minor trades and waiver claims during roster cuts. Maybe that'd be an affordable way to address the depth.