Joe Looney won't be on the field when the Dallas Cowboys host the New York Giants in Week 5. There's also a chance he'll be absent in the following two contests as well, after going down on the first play from scrimmage in Sunday's 49-38 loss to the Cleveland Browns with a knee injury. Looney did not return to the game and was spelled for a second week by rookie Tyler Biadasz, who also stepped in for the veteran in the week prior when Looney left to be evaluated for injury. On Tuesday, the Cowboys got bad news regarding their starting center.
Looney suffered a sprained MCL and will be listed as week-to-week for now, sources tell CBS Sports, but could be placed on injured reserve by the end of the week if there's no satisfactory progress in his rehab this week. This news was later confirmed by owner Jerry Jones. If he's placed on IR, he'll be forced to sit at least three weeks -- a timeline the Cowboys are already prepared to accept.and now Looney absent, the patchwork offensive line in Dallas will lean heavily on Biadasz to be the line general at center.
Don't let the fact Biadasz was still available in the fourth round fool you.
He's a consensus All-American, a two-time first-team All-Big Ten talent who is also the first in Wisconsin history to land the coveted Rimington Trophy, awarded annually to the best center in the country. This is what the Cowboys landed on Day 3, and the fifth-rounder it cost them in 2021 will ultimately amount to a compensatory pick, which means they basically gave up nothing to potentially land everything in return.
And they convinced the Eagles to help them do it.
It's not a coincidence Biadasz landed in Dallas by way of Wisconsin, the same school that produced perennial All-Pro Travis Frederick, who retired this offseason due to his battle with Guillain-Barre Syndrome. It's safe to assume the latter had a voice in convincing the Cowboys to go up and get the former, and he's already begun to impressive in the in-game loss(es) of Looney in Week 3 and Week 4.
The team re-signed Looney on a one-year deal this offseason, who proved himself a starter in allowing only one sack in 16 regular season starts in 2018, which gave them a definitive stopgap in the post-Frederick era, but this could very well be the passing of the torch at the position. Having battled a shoulder ailment in his final collegiate season, which drove down his draft stock, Biadasz is now fully healthy and again playing like the version of himself that garnered him the aforementioned top honors as a Badger.
The 6-foot-4, 310-pound behemoth is as much of a high-IQ bully as Frederick was when he entered the league. Considering he models his game after the previous Wisconsin legend, it makes sense there'd be similarities.
"I tried molding my game after him," Biadasz said of Frederick this offseason. "One of the greats -- an animal. Our body types are similar. ... I'm looking forward to continuing what he did at Dallas."