The Dallas Cowboys have had great success finding offensive line talent. Is center Tyler Biadasz just the latest example as a fourth-rounder?
The Dallas Cowboys have one of the NFL’s most talented offensive line. And they certainly paid for it, using three first-round selections since 2011 on the positional group.
But beyond first-rounders like left tackle Tyron Smith, right guard Zack Martin, and former center Travis Frederick, the Cowboys have been fortunate to find talented offensive lineman in other ways. The best example is starting right tackle La’el Collins.
The LSU product would have likely been a first-round selection in the 2015 NFL Draft if not for being questioned in a murder investigation involving a former girlfriend. Despite never being charged with any wrongdoing, Collins went undrafted and ended up landing in Dallas as the greatest undrafted free agent signing in league history.
The acquisition of Collins is certainly an outlier as the Cowboys have continually attempted to restock their offensive line talent in the draft. In 2015, Dallas used a third-round selection on Florida offensive tackle Chaz Green.
The Cowboys caught a falling Connor Williams in 2018, using a second-round selection on the Texas offensive tackle. Last year, Dallas drafted Penn State guard Connor McGovern because his value was a blinking light in the third round.
While the Green selection didn’t pan out, and the jury is still out on both Williams and McGovern, the Cowboys continue to try to keep their strength strong. The latest example took place on Saturday, during Day Three of the 2020 NFL Draft.
Due to the recent retirement of Frederick, the Cowboys were believed to be in the market for a center prospect in the draft. Although head coach Mike McCarthy did mention reserve center Joe Looney, Williams, and McGovern as all likely replacement candidates.
Yet, at the end of the fourth round, the Cowboys saw an opportunity. Dallas made an unusual trade with a divisional rival, the Philadelphia Eagles, in order to draft Wisconsin center Tyler Biadasz with the 146th overall selection.
Here’s what Anthony Treash of Pro Football Focus wrote about the Biadasz pick, which PFF ranked as the 87th best prospect entering the draft.
"“Tyler Biadasz was one of the best run-blockers we have seen here at PFF, as he has posted run-blocking grades above 82.0 in all three of his seasons starting at Wisconsin. He has room to grow as a pass protector, but you aren’t supposed to be finding talents like this at the 146th overall pick.”"
Biadasz won the Rimington Trophy as the nation’s most outstanding center last year. He was the first player out of Wisconsin to win the award. That includes Frederick, who is a former Badger himself. And one that Dallas selected 31st overall in the 2013 draft and went on to be elected to five Pro Bowls over his seven-year NFL career.
In a Dallas Cowboys’ draft that seemed to value value over need, Tyler Biadasz might emerge as the biggest steal. Especially if the rookie is able to beat out the veteran competition ahead of him to earn the starting role in his first season.