Cowboys 'Feel Good" About Center Situation Heading Into NFL Draft

Matt Galatzan
April 21, 2020 - 1:24 pm

DALLAS (105.3 The Fan) - With the NFL Draft quickly approaching, Cowboys COO Stephen Jones joined The K&C Masterpiece on Tuesday afternoon to discuss multiple Cowboys related topics, including the team's draft needs heading into the weekend. 

After the shocking retirement of multiple-time pro bowl selection, Travis Frederick, rocked the football world earlier this spring, it was natural to assume that the center position had become a major concern to for the team going into the draft. 

According to Jones, however, that might not necessarily be the case. 

"A lot of people say that should be a position of need, and we certainly wouldn't rule that out, but we drafted Connor McGovern there," Jones told K&C Masterpiece on Tuesday. "We had a second round-type pick on him and drafted him at the top of the third, and he snapped the ball at Penn State. Certainly, didn't just snap it, I think he played a year at center. And then, of course, Connor Williams has mentioned he is more than happy to help there, not to mention we've got Joe Looney who did a great job whenever Travis had to miss the year. You know, we feel good about that spot, but at the same time a great center there, then you always have to take a look."

Looney, who just signed a one-year extension,  has been with the Cowboys since 2016 and has started 20 games, including all 16 games in 2018 with Frederick sidelined, making him the logical choice to become the initial replacement next season. 

That said, Jones's comments about Connor Williams are particularly interesting, given the Cowboys' past offensive line mentality of the "best five" combination of players, regardless of their true position. That practice has resulted in players like La'el Collins moving from left tackle in college, to left guard when he entered the league, and now as the mainstay right tackle with the Cowboys. 

This stance has also seen players like Williams himself, who was a four-year starter and consensus All-American at left tackle at the University of Texas, move inside to guard as a professional during his first two seasons, and could now see him moving even further inside to center to help replace Frederick. 

Jones also mentioned second-year offensive lineman Connor McGovern, who the team has notably been very high on, despite him missing the entirety of his rookie season with a pectoral injury. 

McGovern played and started 13 games during his sophomore season at Penn State at the center position while spending the rest of his career at right guard. That season, the Nittany Lions finished with an 11-2 record and a Fiesta Bowl win over the Washington Huskies.

McGovern also helped them end the year with the sixth rated scoring offense in the nation at 41.1 points per game, and a second-place finish in the Big 10 East. 

Jones did also mention the possibility of a selection if the right player is there, however, with multiple reports connecting the Cowboys to having an interest in Michigan center Cesar Ruiz. 

With the Cowboys needs on the defensive side of the ball so prevalent though, it seems likely they will stand pat with what they have along the offensive front, and look elsewhere round one.