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Offseason | 2024

Despite competition lurking, Brock Hoffman helping to bring along Cooper Beebe


FRISCO, Texas — This offseason has had its fair share of turnover on the offensive line, and with a little less than two months to go until the team departs Dallas for training camp in Oxnard, the starting five still has a lot of sorting out left before putting Dak Prescott's protection unit on the field in September.

One of the positions in question is the center position in the absence of Tyler Biadasz, who departed over the offseason for the Washington Commanders. By happenstance, third-year interior lineman Brock Hoffman is next up to take the reins in the middle of the offensive line, but the drafting of rookie Cooper Beebe has a competition lurking for when training camp arrives between the two young linemen.

For Hoffman, it's an opportunity to land a starting spot for the first time in his career, but it's also an opportunity to mentor younger guys. Some veterans would shy away from welcoming in a potential threat to their potential to start, but Hoffman hasn't taken that mindset.

"For me, I know who I am and my skillset as a player," Hoffman said. "I know what I'm going to put on tape, and at the end of the day I still have to be a good teammate. I still have to help bring this room along. Because if I am that guy, I could get hurt at any point and we'll need someone else to step up just like I did last year."

"Yeah, we're competing for the job, but at the end of the day we're teammates. If he's pushing me and I'm pushing him, we're going to be getting better. I've seen guys in the league not help out. It's nothing like that. Competition breeds excellence, in my opinion."

Hoffman's early relationship with Beebe has blossomed since the rookie arrived a little over a month ago. The cerebral makeup of the Kansas State product has impressed Hoffman, as the two have bonded both on and off the field.

"Cooper is a smart dude," he said. "Learning center but also taking reps at guard too. He's showing versatility and he's strong as well. I think him being able to pick up the offense as fast as he's done, he asks me questions and he asks Zack questions, we've helped him out. He's picked up things very well."

Before this offseason, Hoffman had always been the guy looking at older veterans to show him the ropes. And while that is still the case with a Hall of Fame presence like Zack Martin in the building, he has embraced his new role of helping the three rookies in the offensive line room.

When asked if he felt like a middle child in a sense, Hoffman agreed with the sentiment.

"It's definitely a little different, but it's cool," he said. "I was actually talking to Biadasz about this last week. My role has always been the backup center to now I'm stepping into more of a leadership role and helping bring young guys along, but still not the big vet in the room. I would describe the middle child as pretty accurate."

While he is putting a lot of effort into Beebe's development early on, Hoffman is still taking a big initiative into improving his game. When the team breaks after minicamp in a couple of weeks, he will remain in Dallas to train ahead of training camp.

"I think since the start of OTAs, just putting the installs in and I feel like I've gotten a lot more comfortable in the system," he said. "Not necessarily just knowing the play and knowing where we need to identify, but knowing formations, fronts and looks. Being able to take things off the plate of the quarterback has been the biggest jump for me this offseason in terms of playbook."

"In terms of play, just the run game. I felt pretty comfortable with the pass game last year, but I only started two games. Going into where I can hopefully play a lot more, I gotta work on the run game."

There is still a process to go through before late July, but the anticipation of Hoffman's first big opportunity in the NFL still weighs heavy.

"I'm pumped to start training camp, get in there and compete."

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