By Greg Bates
Special to the Community Spirit
During his first four seasons in the NFL, Tyler Biadasz has become a player who epitomizes durability.
The Dallas Cowboys center has started all but two games he played in during the last three years.
That durability, consistency, and strong play at a critical position could mean a nice payday is in store this offseason.
The Amherst High School alumnus’ rookie, four-year contract expires in mid-March. The Cowboys have the option to re-sign one of their top offensive linemen or let him explore the waters of free agency.
Biadasz started all 17 games — including the playoffs — that he played in this season, helping the Cowboys capture the NFC East championship with a 12-5 record. Then #2-seeded Dallas ended its season by being upset 48-32 by the #7-seeded Packers in an NFC wild-card game.
The Cowboys came up short of their ultimate goal of winning the Super Bowl, but Biadasz said he still takes away positives from the season.
“I thought I had a good season,” he said. “Obviously, you criticize yourself more than anyone else. I think I did some really great things, but there are definitely some things that I can improve on and tend to this offseason.”
The 26-year-old added that he feels as though he made significant strides on and off the field this season. “I think just building off my routine that I’ve had for the last couple years, but doing just a little bit more recovery stuff,” he said of his plans. “I want to make sure my body’s in great shape for the games and everything like that. I think I grew more from that perspective. But throughout the whole year, I grew mentally with the whole season with the competition and film study. Just learning about the guys you’re going to go against and what to expect and how the game went.”
During his four seasons in Dallas, Biadasz has appeared in 61 games with 53 starts. He said he didn’t feel any added pressure playing in a contract season. He just gave an all-out effort in everything he did.
“I’m playing with an edge, because you want to stay here and want to get extended and see what great things that can do for you and your family,” he added. “I think like this whole year I felt like I was a leader. I still did what I wanted to do and grew as a player and being the team captain and doing those great things and leading the offense, especially at my position, being the ultimate communicator but also one of the leaders on this O-line. Just being my best for myself but also my teammates, Zach Martin and Tyron Smith and Terence Steele, all those guys. That was the main goal throughout this whole year, just week in and week out and the longevity of the season, to play your best every single week.”
Biadasz, a fourth-round selection of the Cowboys in the 2020 NFL Draft, missed just one game this season — Week 3 when he suffered a pulled hamstring. Other than that minor injury, Biadasz was healthy the entire year.
Biadasz said he feels fortunate as an NFL offensive lineman to get through a season virtually unscathed. That all comes back to the extra work he dedicated to taking his recovery to a new level. “It’s hard to do,” he added. “The name of the game is availability, and to be healthy, especially toward the end of the season and going into the playoffs.”
Connecting with Welch
When the Cowboys hosted the Packers in the wild-card game, a pair of friends from northeastern Wisconsin squared off.
Biadasz and Packers special teamer/linebacker Kristian Welch played against each other in high school when Biadasz led Amherst and Welch was a star for Iola-Scandinavia.
“We played each other a lot growing up, whether it was in elementary school, middle school, there was always a rivalry with Iola and Amherst,” Biadasz said. “In high school, we played AAU basketball on a travelling team. In college, he went to Iowa and I went to Wisconsin, so we played each other once a year.”
Biadasz and Welch — both 2016 high school graduates — have stayed in touch over the years as they shared the NFL stage.
After the Packers ousted the Cowboys from the postseason, Biadasz and Welch met up on the field and were able to chat for a few minutes. Biadasz is hoping to have a lengthier conversation with Welch in the near future.
“I’m looking forward to speaking with him and hanging out with him back home when I go home, so hopefully he’ll be there,” Biadasz said. “It’s a pretty busy schedule being in the NFL, but I think we’re both hopeful we’ll be able to hang out this offseason.”
When his season wrapped up in mid-January, Biadasz took a few days to rest up and recover from the daunting week in and week out schedule.
“Right now, I’m trying to get my schedule all figured out,” he said. “But I’m definitely going to go home, see the family. Otherwise, I’m going to start training here probably pretty quick.”
Biadasz has pinpointed a few areas where he plans on focusing his offseason, including increasing his film study and plenty of on-field work.
“It’s always about fundamentals,” Biadasz said. “It’s always about finishing blocks. It’s all about second reactions, and then your technique. I think the hardest part is just being consistent. The more consistent you can be, the more you can keep building your toolbox in a sense. You want to be able to be versatile, so you want to be able to switch it up here and there in pass pro or how you’re going to set someone. You’re just working on how you can be even better in the run game or pass game or play action and finishing plays, whether it’s working on conditioning or covering the ball.”
Since the season ended, the Cowboys have been engaged with Biadasz’s agent about what is next.
“I’m letting my agent do all the stuff with my contract coming up,” Biadasz said. “But at the same time, I just live in the moment. It didn’t really weigh on me at all throughout this whole year. I just went out there and played, and I trust that what’s meant for me is what’s going to come for me.”
During his four years with the Cowboys, Biadasz has grown accustomed to personnel and systems. That familiarity with his fellow offensive linemen and quarterback Dak Prescott has really helped Biadasz maximize his potential.
“Being in the system for three years up to the beginning of this year and four years with the same schematics and the verbiage and how the system works; you definitely grow confidence through that,” Biadasz said. “I thought I had a great year, the best year that I’ve had. I felt like I really connected with everyone on the team. But I definitely felt like we took a step forward this year for sure. Obviously, the results didn’t end the way we wanted, but I thought as a team we definitely did well.”
What is the best-case scenario for Biadasz and his future in the NFL? “I’d love to be back here in Dallas, and we’re going to find out real soon,” Biadasz said. “Hopefully, we’ll be back.”
Tyler Biadasz (#63, center) snaps the ball to the Dallas quarterback. Photo courtesy Dallas Cowboys
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