Dallas Cowboys: Joe Looney deserves a shot at a starting role

(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images)
(Photo by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images) /

With the anticipated return of Dallas Cowboys All Pro center Travis Frederick, has back up Joe Looney, made the case to start at left guard?

When the best center in the National Football League was diagnosed with the rare auto-immune disease Guillain-Barre syndrome, Joe Looney was asked by the Dallas Cowboys to take on the task of starting center. I have to admit I was surprised and concerned at the same time..

Looney had never been a starter in his career. He was drafted by the San Francisco 49ers in the 4th round in 2012. He remained on the inactive list the entire season. Over the next two seasons Looney appeared in 19 games with only four starts.

Looney was released at the beginning of the 2015 season and later signed with the Tennessee Titans.  Looney played in eight games, with six starts. He then signed a two-year deal with the Dallas Cowboys as free agent, at the end of the season.  Looney would play in all 16 games, starting three.

Prior to the 2018 season, we see Looney had only started 13 games. There was a fair amount of consternation whether he could do the job for a full slate of 16 games. While Looney was no Travis Frederick (no one is), he did a yeoman’s job in Frederick’s stead.

While he wasn’t perfect, Looney showed he could capably make line calls and adjustments. Looney anchored an offensive line that allowed running back Ezekiel Elliott to lead the league in rushing. Looney was called for four holding penalties all year. Not bad when you consider Frederick had three in 2017.

Current left guard Connor Williams was at times a liability. Williams was called for five holding penalties in only 13 games. He frequently gave up pressure and often appeared to be physically over-matched.

Williams is very raw and young. He will only be 22 years old at the start of the 2019 season. He has much to learn and needs to develop physically.  Whereas, Looney has played left guard and is the bigger physical specimen with tangible experience.

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Joe Looney gave all he had this past season and I think he should start over Connor Williams. Williams is the future but not the present, in my view. I think he should sit and learn behind Looney. But what are your thoughts? Tell us in the comments section below.