(Editor's Note: NFL rosters change wildly from year to year. This year will be no different, as the Cowboys seek to upgrade their roster via free agency and the 2021 NFL Draft. Still, a large percentage of their roster is already in place, and they'll have plenty of work to do to improve last season's 6-10 record. In the coming weeks, the staff of DallasCowboys.com will evaluate those players who are already under contract, examining their past performance and future outlook. Today, we'll continue the series with center, Tyler Biadasz.)
The Good: Unless you're talking about someone like Travis Frederick, the man Biadasz was drafted to replace, it's wise to show a little patience with a rookie center. It's an extremely difficult position to master at the NFL level, so the good news is that Biadasz was thrown into fire in the middle of the season and got his taste of reps. And while he wasn't exactly showing flashes of a young Frederick, he didn't look overwhelmed either. He started four games in the middle of the season before suffering a hamstring injury and looked particularly good blocking in the run game. Center is a position that usually requires development, and so Biadasz hopefully got some of his growing pains out of the way in Year One. Only one other rookie center, Denver's Lloyd Cushenberry, started multiple games this season, and by just about any metric, Biadasz performed better.
The Bad: Being placed on Injured Reserve after injuring his hamstring in pregame warmups certainly wasn't great. Additionally, the offensive line was a huge weak point for the Cowboys when Biadasz was inserted as a starter, but it would be unfair to put that on his shoulders. The team was without both Tyron Smith and La'el Collins at tackle. Zack Martin also missed two of the games when Biadasz was starting. And on top of everything else, Dak Prescott suffered a season-ending ankle injury in Biadasz's first start. Biadasz was snapping the ball to three different starting quarterbacks. All of this was a recipe for disaster and served as pretty chaotic conditions for a rookie center to contend with.
Best of 2020: Biadasz certainly earned the team and coaching staff in his first career start. He started the game snapping the ball to Prescott, who suffered a devastating injury in the third quarter. Andy Dalton entered the game and the team persevered to secure a 37-34 win. The margin of error was small if the Cowboys were going to be able to steal a victory in the aftermath of such a heartbreaking injury. A botched snap to Dalton or a breakdown in blocking easily could have cost them the game. Biadasz didn't blink. He might not have looked dominant. But he looked like belonged.
Contract Consideration: There are still three years remaining on Biadasz's rookie contract, which is worth a total of less than $4 million, a bargain if Biadasz develops into a full-time starter soon.
What's Next? We haven't seen enough of Biadasz to really make any declarative statements about his potential. But it's fair we've seen enough to be cautiously excited. Joe Looney served as the Week 1 starter in 2020, but the veteran is a free agent and his return is no guarantee. Connor McGovern did an admirable job in his multiple starts at left guard. The team will likely let him compete for a starting job, and if that job isn't at left guard, it could possibly be at center. But it's safe to say that the team would like Biadasz to have the type of training camp that convinces them he could start 16 games at center. Whatever the Cowboys' quarterback situation is in 2021, they're going to want the QB to be protected for millions of reasons, so Biadasz is going to have to prove he's capable. His spot on the roster is secured. We'll start seeing what his development looks like next year.