The Center Of Attention

January 12th, 2023

Cowboys center Tyler Biadasz.

Could Monday night’s wild card round game between the Bucs and the Cowboys hinge on whether a center plays?

Maybe, and Joe’s not referring to Robert Hainsey or Ryan Jensen.

Two weeks ago, Cowboys center Tyler  suffered a high ankle sprain. He missed the following two games and his status is unknown for Monday. Cowboys coach Mike McCarthy hasn’t yet ruled him out.

So why is Joe bringing up the status of Dallas’ center? Well, Nate Tice of The Athletic points out that since Biadasz was lost to injury, the Cowboys offense has been pretty awful.

The Cowboys featured the fourth-best rushing offense by DVOA entering Week 17, when Biadasz suffered his injury. They also ranked fourth in EPA per designed rush on 462 designed rushes with Biadasz on the field this season.

With Biadasz out over the past two weeks (against Tennessee and Washington), the Cowboys had 29 designed rushes. And while, of course, we have to unroll the usual caveat banners that read “small sample size” and “adjust for opponent”, Dallas simply was not able to get anything going with a reconfigured offensive line that featured Connor McGovern moving from left guard to center.

Only six of those 29 run plays were successful for the Cowboys, a 20.7 percent success rate (again, small sample size!). That’s essentially half the Cowboys’ season rate of 40.1 percent with Biadasz on the field. Not a single gain among those 29 attempts went for more than six yards.

The Bucs defense has played well when you factor in all the injuries. And when Akiem Hicks and Vita Vea are both on the field, teams don’t push around the Bucs.

The Bucs are 6-1 with both Hicks and Vea on the field together; 2-8 when one misses a game. With both Hicks and Vea expected to play, and if Biadasz can’t, this game could be extra interesting.

Ira Kaufman Talks Lenny Vs. Rachaad, Explores The Longterm Effects Of Monday’s Result, Offensive Strategy, Byron Leftwich Spin, NFC Outlook, Scheming The Run, And Much More

16 Responses to “The Center Of Attention”

  1. Hail2dabucs Says:

    This is a win for Tampa folks ! The cowgirls are playing with scared money & the bucs are playing with house money ! Bucs will be loose and the girls will be extra tight !

  2. Leopold Stotch Says:

    Gotta make sure we stop the run. McCarthy will have Moore stop calling runs if it’s unsuccessful, but the threat of Tony Pollard busting a big run is always prevalent. I think if we make them one dimensional, now that we’re really healthy, we should have a field day. At least one interception, if not a pick six

  3. SufferingSince76 Says:

    Is Jensen going to play or was that more of a tease than anything else?

  4. darengibo Says:

    Make sure Vea and Hicks are in there and the run will be STUFFED! I am more worried about the quick pass/screen to Pollard and not nervous at all about Elliott.

  5. BucU Says:

    Todd Bowles and Byron Leftwich leading the troops on a Monday night playoff game.
    What could go wrong? Ughhh.

  6. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    I’ve got a good feeling about our chances Monday……Bucs are healthy….and Tom can still do damage to defenses.

  7. Dooley Says:

    Dallas averaged 9.1 more points a game than our offense this season, can our defense hold Dallas at bay is one thing, but can our stop-motion offense keep up?

  8. 74 Bucs Fan Says:

    So, any updates on our centers Joe? Inquiring minds want to know.

  9. NEfan Says:

    If he plays the Bucs Dline need to pull a North Dallas Forty and have Vea go low and Hicks high on him. Go get em Jo Bob!

  10. Dooley Says:

    ^^^Holy crap super obscure football movie reference that totally means you’re about my dads age lol good flick tho, kind of like the older brother to “Necessary Roughness”

  11. geno711 Says:

    This article gets half of the picture. Not only did the Cowboys lose Biadasz a couple of weeks ago but they lost their right tackle, Terence Steele for the season.

    Terence Steele was especially highly rated on his run blocking according to profootball reference, giving him an 82 rating in run blocking.

  12. Mike Says:

    So you’re saying that it’s hard to win without your starting center? Hmmm, don’t know if that’s true… 🙂

  13. bob Says:

    the defense needs both Hicks and Vea to get it done

  14. NEfan Says:

    Dooley the only good part of Necessary Roughness was Kathy Ireland!

  15. Dooley Says:


    Samurai going ape sh*t, Rob Schnieder calling the game was hilarious, and the prison bus scene with all the NFL all-stars as hardened criminals, was hilarious. Classic football movie

  16. unbelievable Says:

    @geno and @Joe –

    Biadasz, Hankins and Vander Esch all practiced today and coach McCarthy is very optimistic they will all be able to go Monday night.

    Meanwhile… who is playing center for the Bucs?