As a fan of poetry, the thought of going from one all-world center from Wisconsin in Travis Frederick to another from the same school in Tyler Biadasz, is overwhelmingly cool. Obviously the Cowboys had a need at center with Fredbeard retiring, but they had already brought back Joe Looney and Adam Redmond. When you consider that Mike McCarthy also mentioned both Connors (McGovern and Williams) as other options at center during the team’s pre-draft press conference, many observers just assumed that they wouldn’t be drafting a center.
What’s more is that not only did the Cowboys draft a center, they traded up (with the Eagles!) to do it. They obviously didn’t give up anything substantial to do so, and the fact that they are already thinking in terms of their future compensatory picks shows a forward-thinking mindset from the front office that should be applauded.
The Cowboys will also benefit from a new CBA rule
One of my first thoughts in the aftermath of the Biadasz selection was how the Cowboys are going to conceivably carry so many offensive linemen throughout the season? Think about it.
Dallas suddenly has a bevy of offensive linemen that will likely make the team: Tyron Smith, Connor Williams, Joe Looney, Zack Martin, La’el Collins, Connor McGovern, Adam Redmond, Brandon Knight, and Tyler Biadasz. Throw Mitch Hyatt in there if you want to as well. That’s 10 right there.
The tricky part is always figuring out who is going to be active on game day. There are generally eight or so offensive linemen that suit up, but that’s where things are going to be different in the future. And the Cowboys will benefit from it after drafting Biadasz.
The new CBA requires an extra offensive lineman to dress on game days
Previously a team’s 53-man roster was limited to 46 uniforms on game day. For years there have been seven inactive members of the team, and sometimes it is difficult to choose who will be wearing sweats on the sidelines. That has changed.
While focus has been on a number of things from the new CBA, there is a new wrinkle that has elevated active game day rosters from 46 to 48 (and 53-man rosters to 55). What’s more is that of those two new spots one of them must be an offensive lineman. Hello there.
It’s worth noting a total of eight of the 48 players dressed on game days must be a lineman. If a team decides to dress fewer than eight, they may only dress 47 players on a game day. As a result, overall rosters will increase from the widely-recognized 53-man to now 55 players.
Having a surplus at any position is never a bad thing, and to be clear here nobody is saying that the Cowboys suddenly have multiple All-Pro options along the interior of their offensive line. However, if you were like me and wondering how the math of all this is going to work out, the math is clearly different and that is important.
Another offensive lineman active on game day, almost as a requirement really in an effort to have the largest amount of players available, provides extra room for Biadasz along with whatever tough decisions that were already going to have to be made.
Good for them.