The Dallas Cowboys did not make the playoffs this season, but that does not mean that they did not accomplish some good things in 2020. Obviously the group fell short of the expectations that we all had and wanted for them, but in all fairness they lost a number of important people to injuries and those are things that are difficult to overcome in the sport of football.
There is no denying that it would have been nice to see the team find a way to persevere without players like Dak Prescott, Tyron Smith, and La’el Collins, and to the credit of a few, some did. It ultimately just wasn’t enough.
When we look back on the 2020 season, we will likely remember CeeDee Lamb’s rookie year with the club, hopefully the first throughout a future Hall of Fame career. But we should remember a few other things and a couple of other noteworthy performances.
PFF thought highly of both DeMarcus Lawrence and Tyler Biadasz in 2020
We are a bit of ways removed from the NFL announcing the Pro Bowl rosters for the year and the Cowboys unfortunately did not have a single player make the list for the NFC. Such was expected to be the case in all honesty.
The true point of notoriety when it comes to individual accolades in the NFL isn’t the Pro Bowl, though. It is widely known and agreed that being named an All-Pro far outweighs a Pro Bowl nod (although making the Pro Bowl is obviously cool). A case could have been made for defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence to make the Pro Bowl originally, and the folks over at Pro Football Focus seem to agree. They have him as a second-team member on their own All-Pro team. Lawrence is behind Pittsburgh Steelers rusher T.J. Watt of all people. Le sigh.
PFF also put together an All-Rookie team which obviously involves a very different group of players. At season’s beginning we would have all assumed that CeeDee Lamb was an eventual lock for something like this and he likely would have been with Dak Prescott throwing to him all season, but alas, that was not written in the stars.
Perhaps you think that Trevon Diggs deserves consideration for a spot on this team. That would be a fair point, but the body of work simply isn’t large enough or at least good enough for a long enough period to justify that. However, Tyler Biadasz did make it!
Only two rookie centers played more than 200 offensive snaps this season — Lloyd Cushenberry III at 1,076 and Biadasz at 427. Among 37 qualifying centers, Cushenberry’s 40.5 PFF grade ranked dead last. It’s hard to put a player with that kind of performance on the all-rookie team, which leaves Biadasz as the default selection.
Granted, Biadasz didn’t dominate by any means, either. His PFF grade of 53.6 at center this season ranked 33rd among those same 37 qualifying centers, but he did edge out teammate Joe Looney (53.1) on a Dallas offensive line that was interchanging parts all season. The Cowboys will hope some stability brings better results in 2021.
This is an interesting data point to consider for the future as there are expectations for Tyler Biadasz. It was, of course, seemingly destiny for him to become a permanent fixture at retired Travis Frederick’s center spot as they share an alma mater in Wisconsin. It appears as if Biadasz is on his way towards doing so in the future.
The Cowboys saw only one of their division foes feature players on the All-Rookie Team. The Washington Football Team had representation by way of Chase Young (shocker) and safety Kamren Curl. Washington may have been somewhat gifted an NFC East title by the Philadelphia Eagles, but their defense is going to be a problem for a while.