Centers like Travis Frederick are hard to come by. When he was at his best, #72 in silver and blue was perhaps the most invaluable centerpiece of Dallas’ high-caliber offense. He held multiple roles as a captain of the Cowboys during his six-year tenure with the squad, serving as the brains, brawn and backbone of a unit responsible for multiple league-leading rushing seasons.
Frederick racked up five Pro Bowl appearances (the only one he missed was in his rookie year) in what had the potential to be a Hall of Fame career. So naturally, when he retired prematurely due to an autoimmune deficiency, Cowboys personnel scrambled in desperation to try and find a replacement that would be half as worthy as his predecessor.
They experimented with Joe Looney at center, inserting him into the starter’s role in 2018 after Frederick with diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome, and were more than comfortable handing him the keys to the position after Frederick called it quits in 2020. But Looney was unable to keep a healthy playing status, and eventually fell out of the job after succumbing to a sprained MCL in Week 4.
His replacement: Tyler Biadasz, Dallas’ fourth-round (146th overall) selection in 2020, who wholly impressed the team’s staff during his stinted spurts of playing time. Looney and Biadasz both had injury issues in 2020, but it didn’t take long for the ‘Boys to opt for Biadasz’s services in favor of Looney’s following the season. Now the former is ready to lay claim as the franchise’s unquestioned long-term snapper.
As of right now, Dallas is giving him the leeway to do so.
Biadasz’s job security is tight as a safety belt entering 2021. He’s the far-and-away primary center on the team’s depth chart, and according to several sources, he’s doing everything he can to affirm his coaches’ faith in him.
His teammates are taking note of the development.
Cowboys LT Tyron Smith on starting center Tyler Biadasz: “He’s grown quick. Every since his first year, he came with a mature attitude. Very high energy, and we love it.” Biadasz a 2020 fourth-round pick. “You’d think the kid has been playing for four years.”— Michael Gehlken (@GehlkenNFL) June 8, 2021
He’s just figured out everything that he needs to know being the center of the offensive line — making the calls. He’s speaking with more confidence. He’s asking the questions that you want a center to ask against certain different things, adjustments, and everything like that, what to do.”
“He reminds me a lot of Trav [Frederick]. He’s got a lot of Travis in him. He’s great to see because we all know how great Travis was.”
That’s quite the comparison given such a little body of work. Now, Biadasz isn’t nearly the player that Frederick was in his heyday. But if he can transform into something resembling the player “Trav” was, the Cowboys committed highway robbery in the fourthth round of last year’s draft.