Stop me if you’ve heard this before: The Dallas Cowboys draft a center from Wisconsin.
Mark Twain said that history doesn't repeat itself; it rhymes, and it would appear the Cowboys are rhyming a few lines by taking a Wisconsin offensive lineman to replace Travis Frederick, their All-Pro center from Wisconsin who retired in the 2020 offseason.
However, it would be presumptuous to believe Tyler Biadasz, who the Cowboys took with the 146th overall pick in Round 4 of the 2020 NFL Draft Saturday, is going to start Week 1 for Dallas at center. Dallas will have competition at the spot.
Aside from the fact that only two other rookies have ever done it in Cowboys history, Dallas has two capable interior offensive linemen on the roster in Joe Looney and Connor McGovern. In Looney's case, he filled in for Frederick for all 16 games as recently as 2018 as the former 2013 first-round pick battled Guillain-Barre Syndrome. He is a known quantity and the starting job will be his to lose.
If Looney loses the starting center job, the baton would first be passed to McGovern. Even though the former 2019 third-round pick from Penn State spent his entire rookie season on injured reserve with a torn pectoral, he has spent more time in the film room and position room at the NFL level. He has been rehabilitating from that pectoral injury, which may have affected his ability to take part in a full offseason in an NFL strength and conditioning regimen.
Nonetheless, Biadasz is coming to Frisco as a dark horse. Certainly the Amherst, Wisconsin native can develop into a quality offensive lineman for the Cowboys, and perhaps even one day take over at center. Biadasz is an athletic offensive lineman who initially was playing defensive end for the Badgers.
"When I first came in, they directed me towards offense because I came in actually to my camp before I got my offer at Wisconsin as a defensive end," Biadasz told reporters at the NFL Scouting Combine in Indianapolis in February. "Then they told me that I might go — they don't know what side I'll play on."
It wasn't until assistant head coach and offensive line coach Joe Rudolph got to see Biadasz play that the 6-3, 316-pound trench player switched sides entirely.
"He came up to me, he said, 'We're gonna work you at center or guard.' I was like, alright, cool. So then my redshirt year, I worked more so as a center. That was my first time working at center. Then from there, it sparked."
Biadasz played all four years at Wisconsin at center. While he may develop into a starting quality center for the Cowboys, it won't be until after 2020. Frederick was able to start at center because of how great he was as a prospect coming out of college. Gurode started at center because of how talent deficient the early 2000's Cowboys were. The Cowboys are going to go with a more proven commodity to anchor their offensive line rather than a rookie.
Do you think the selection of Tyler Biadasz will “rhyme” like former Wisconsin Badger center Travis Frederick? Share your thoughts with Mark on Twitter @therealmarklane.
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