Thu, 13 Aug 2020

O-Line: A New Center, A New Direction

Dallas Cowboys
30 Jun 2020, 20:24 GMT+10

With the NFL Draft completed and free agency at least slowing down here as the summer approaches, it's time to take a closer look at every position.

Each day, we will dissect a different aspect about the position, ranging from position battles, to under-the-radar players, to simply answering questions that have yet to be resolved.

This week, we continue the series with the offensive line:

A New Center, A New Direction

What's New

Travis Frederick has apparently shaved his beard, but that's not the biggest change for the five-time Pro Bowl center.

Frederick is retiring after seven seasons with the Cowboys, including a successful, Pro Bowl return from Guillain-Barre syndrome in 2019. He decided it was time for the "next chapter of life" after a self-described "difficult" year trying to reach his high standard of play. The Cowboys have placed him on the Reserve/Retired list and will spread out his $11 million salary cap hit over two years.

Who replaces Frederick? That remains to be seen. The Cowboys have been in this situation before when Frederick spent the 2018 season recovering from GBS. Among the candidates this time around: fourth-round draft pick Tyler Biadasz, also a former Wisconsin standout, and veteran Joe Looney, who filled in for Frederick in 2018.

In 2018, the club also made an in-season switch at offensive line coach, promoting former starting right tackle Marc Colombo to replace Paul Alexander. But with head coach Mike McCarthy now in charge, the Cowboys have hired one of McCarthy's long-time assistants, Joe Philbin, to oversee the position.

Philbin is one of four new assistants with previous NFL head coaching experience. He has coached the offensive line in Indianapolis and most recently Green Bay, where he worked on McCarthy's staff for seven years.

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