FRISCO - What we know about the Dallas Cowboys' 2021 offensive line, in terms of the question marks, focus on 1) the assumed return of left tackle Tyron Smith and 2) the opportunity that will be given to second-year center Tyler Biadasz to win that job, ahead of a cluster of contenders.
Do we need to know something about Corey Linsley, too?
ESPN and Pro Football Focus have teamed up to look at free agents and their “best fit” new team, the idea being all about "positional need.''
How they came up with "center'' ... we do not know.
Green Bay Packers center Linsley is an All-Pro. Every team would like to have him. But we find the ESPN/PFF assessment of Dallas' O-line desires something short of "plugged in.'' They write:
“Both Joe Looney and Tyler Biadasz struggled at center for the Cowboys last season. And while Biadasz was just a rookie, the Cowboys could still look to upgrade the position. Linsley is a no-brainer here; he’s been one of the best centers in football over the past few seasons and then became the best center in football in 2020. He posted 80.0-plus grades as both a run-blocker and pass-blocker in 2020, the only center to do so.”
Let's unpack that ...
*There is no argument against Linsley's excellence.
*But there is no indication from the Cowboys that they are "looking to upgrade the position.''
*The Cowboys disagree with the assessment here of Biadasz' season; they do not think he "struggled.'' In fact, veteran teammates have told us how impressed they are with his work and his quick learning curve.
*The Cowboys disagree with the assessment of Looney as having "struggled.'' They consider Looney -who is also a free agent - a valuable journeyman.
*The report skips altogether the cluster of other contenders for the left guard/center spots, which include Connor Williams and Connor McGovern. (Sidebar: There are also speculative stories about released Texans center Nick Martin coming to Dallas to join his brother Zack. We'll ask about that - while again working on the belief that there is enough talent of that sort here already.)
Bottom line, the Cowboys believe their transition from the retired Pro Bowler Travis Frederick to fellow Wisconsin product Biadasz is in the process of being a smooth one, and that Biadasz was a fourth-round "steal.''
Assuming Linsley is set to make a fortune in free agency, he's not on Dallas' radar. Tyler Biadasz might end up being the only name Cowboys Nation needs to know here.
CONTINUE READING: Dallas Cowboys Injury Update: Tyron Smith & La'el Collins