“He [Looney] will be missed out there, but he will be the first to tell you that this guy, Biadasz, his backup, should be able to rise — I emphasize rise — to the occasion,” Jones said later on 105.3 The Fan, via beat reporter Brianna Dix.
Looney was hurt on Dallas’ first offensive snap amid Sunday’s 49-38 loss to the Cleveland Browns. His Grade 2 sprain may require placement on short-term injured reserve, which would sideline the ninth-year vet for at least three games.
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Looney was replaced by aforementioned fourth-round rookie Tyler Biadasz, who tallied 81-of-82 snaps. Biadasz held up impressively well, helping limit the Browns’ imposing front seven to three sacks and three hits on quarterback Dak Prescott. Biadasz and company also paved the way for 566 total yards and 35 first downs across 79 plays as the Cowboys mounted a furious fourth-quarter comeback.
If this was a test, the Wisconsin product passed with flying colors. There’s a reason, after all, that team vice president Stephen Jones “absolutely” welcomed an open competition between Looney and Biadasz for the right to snap to Prescott.
“I mean, that’s our league,” Jones said last week on 105.3 The Fan. “Especially, when you’re looking at a young player like Biadasz, he goes in there and does a lot of good things. He has some things obviously that he has to work on before he wrestles that job away from Joe Looney, and I can tell you knowing Joe Looney, he’s a competitor, he’s one of the leaders in that room. He’s certainly not going to go away quietly in terms of the competition right there.”
Looney’s injury is the latest along a cursed offensive line that reportedly lost right tackle La’el Collins to a season-ending hip malady. Left tackle Tyron Smith missed two games with a neck injury before returning in Week 4. Primary swing OT Cameron Erving (MCL sprain) remains parked on IR.
From left to right, the Cowboys’ OL for their upcoming tilt against the Giants will consist of Smith, Connor Williams, Biadasz, Zack Martin, and Brandon Knight, who replaced the benched Terence Steele versus Cleveland.
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Collins Slated for Surgery
NFL Network’s Jane Slater reported prior to Week 4 that Collins will undergo hip surgery Wednesday. He’ll miss the remainder of 2020 on IR.
“The pain became intolerable despite him wanting to play through it,” Slater tweeted.
The writing was on the wall after head coach Mike McCarthy admitted last month Collins is “a ways off” from returning with “an obviously significant” issue.
Collins, a 61-game starter, inked a five-year, $50 million extension in 2019. He should be fully healthy in time for the Cowboys’ offseason program, assuming no setbacks.
Follow Zack Kelberman on Twitter: @KelbermanNFL