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Cowboys Tyler Biadasz playing with high stakes in contract year

As his rookie deal expires, Tyler Biadasz will be fighting to continue his run in Dallas.

NFL: Dallas Cowboys at Philadelphia Eagles Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Tyler Biadasz emerged as one of the Cowboys’ top offensive linemen last season, earning his first trip to the Pro Bowl. Dallas’ center is now entering the final year of his rookie contract and could be in line for a significant pay bump if he maintains his current momentum.

We’ve heard plenty of chatter this offseason about new contracts for the likes of Dak Prescott, CeeDee Lamb, and Trevon Diggs. You also have many other notable players with expiring contracts: Tony Pollard, Tyron Smith, Terence Steele, Jayron Kearse, Malik Hooker, Stephon Gilmore, Jourdan Lewis, and Dorance Armstrong.

Biadasz isn’t the biggest name in this mix but he’s far from the smallest. He’s become one of the reliable players on an offensive line that has struggled with stability in recent years. While expectations that he would fully replace Travis Frederick were never reasonable, Biadasz has at least cemented himself as a legitimate NFL starter for a contending team.

That’s great for the Cowboys in 2023. We’re still guessing how many games Tyron Smith will actually be healthy for and how that might shuffle Tyler Smith and Steele around the line. At least we can count on Biadasz and Zack Martin holding down their spots even if there’s some occasional chaos around them.

Unfortunately, Dallas only gets one more year of cheap labor out of Biadasz. He’ll count just $2.87 against the salary cap this year but then be due for his first big NFL payday. The top-six contracts for centers right now all average $12-$14 million per season, and you know Biadasz’s agent will expect nothing less if his client maintains last year’s performance.

This brings us back to that long list of names at the top. Dallas has a lot to figure out in the next year or two with its contracts. Re-signing bigger stars from the 2020 draft class like Diggs and Lamb, not to mention Prescott and some of those other impending free agents, means having to make tough choices elsewhere on the roster.

Assuming he has no injury or performance issues in 2023, Biadasz would seem like a shoo-in for a new deal. He’s hardly as glamorous a name as others but plays a key position at an above-average level. Still, Dallas might decide to let someone else reward Biadasz for his first four seasons. If the salary cap becomes restrictive, the Cowboys could allow Biadasz to walk and hope for a decent compensatory pick in exchange, then come up with a cheaper option at center for next year. Maybe they draft one in the first few rounds next April or sign an older veteran to plug the hole for a season.

Again, re-signing Biadasz should be a simple, safe investment based on last year and his assumed progression. That would also give Dallas confidence to structure a new deal so that there’s more guaranteed money and less burden on the salary cap, mitigating some of their financial concerns.

But all of this talk about reliability, safety, and simplicity depends on how Tyler Biadasz performs in 2023. Will he build on last year’s Pro Bowl and make this an easy decision for Dallas? He’s one of many Cowboys playing for their futures in this upcoming season.

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