The Dallas Cowboys should reunite with Joe Looney
By Mitch Larson
While nearly every front office executive in professional football would tell you that building a roster is something they work at 365 days a year, it’s safe to say that the Dallas Cowboys likely won’t be making any big splashes between now and the start of training camp. However, there are still a few moves the team should consider to help build out their current roster and add depth.
Considering the state and health of the team’s offensive line over the past couple of seasons, one of them should be reuniting with a familiar face. Former Cowboys’ center Joe Looney remains a free agent, and the team should welcome him back with open arms.
In five seasons with the star on his helmet, the free-agent linemen played in 77 games, starting 32 of them. He’s typically served as the Cowboys’ backup center, but he also occasionally filled in as a guard when needed.
Off the field, Looney has proven to be a great locker room presence for the Cowboys. He’s even become known for some of his viral and more light-hearted antics, like the time he dressed up like running back Ezekiel Elliott during practice.
While Joe Looney isn’t likely to make a Pro Bowl anytime soon, he has shown he can be serviceable in both pass protection and run blocking. Throughout his time in Dallas, whenever his number was called he was always more than willing to step in and be the next man up.
The Dallas Cowboys can’t afford to head into the 2021 season without depth at the center position
Fans saw how much of an issue depth was for the Dallas Cowboys when the injury bug bit the team hard in 2020. As quarterback Dak Prescott continues to work his way back from last year’s season-ending injury, Dallas needs to do everything they can to protect him. That means the team can’t afford to start the 2021 season without adequate depth along the offensive line and at the center position.
As center Tyler Biadasz enters his second season with the Dallas Cowboys, he feels primed to take over as the clear starter at center. All-Pro tackle and fellow linemate Tyron Smith has been heaping praise on Biadasz lately, saying he’s grown quick.
However, after a few free agent moves and a defensive heavy draft, the Cowboys could still stand to add some more depth on offense, particularly as it pertains to the offensive line. As it stands right now Connor McGovern would likely figure in as the backup center and be the next man up if something were to happen to Biadasz. He started eight games at guard in 2020, but he played a bit of center in college at Penn State.
Reuniting with Looney could make perfect sense for the Cowboys. To start, he’s already extremely familiar with the team’s system and has proven he can competently step in when his number is called. That experience not just in this offense, but playing alongside his fellow linemates is an asset that shouldn’t be understated.
Plus his versatility to play both guard and center means he gives the team flexibility in the event of any injury along the interior of the offensive line. Looney will be 31 years old at the start of this season, and at this point in his career, he isn’t likely to break the bank and should be available for well within Dallas’ salary cap budget.
The Dallas Cowboys are hoping for much better results in 2021 than they had in 2020. One way to ensure the team has a chance to do that is by continuing to address the depth issues that have plagued them in the past. With familiar face Joe Looney still a free agent, a reunion could make sense for both sides.