The Dallas Cowboys were somewhat surprised when Travis Frederick retired earlier in the offseason, but they made a trade Saturday to pick up another Wisconsin center, selecting Tyler Biadasz with the final selection of the fourth round.
To get Biadasz, the Cowboys made a trade with the NFC East rival Philadelphia Eagles, giving up a fifth-round pick next year and this year’s 164th selection to move up to No. 146.
It’s the first time the Cowboys and Eagles have made a draft-day trade since 2010, when the Cowboys moved up to take linebacker Sean Lee in the second round.
The Cowboys downplayed the need for a center in their pre-draft news conference, especially early, despite losing Frederick. They have Joe Looney, Connor McGovern and Connor Williams as potential options to take over for Frederick, who made the Pro Bowl in five of his seven seasons.
Frederick missed the 2018 season because of Guillain-Barre syndrome, an autoimmune disease that affects the nervous system, but he returned last season, started every game and was named to the Pro Bowl. Frederick cited the illness as part of the reason why he opted to retire because he was not able to play at the same level as before he got sick.
In 2013, the Cowboys traded down in the first round with the San Francisco 49ers before taking Frederick with the 31st selection.
Frederick told ESPN he was pleased to see the Cowboys draft a fellow Badger.
“I’m really excited that Tyler is joining the Cowboys. I think they got a good one,” Frederick said. “Being from the same program at Wisconsin, I know he’ll be smart, tough and hardworking. He’s walking into a great room with great support as well, so I’m excited to see what he can do.”
Biadasz was a three-year starter at Wisconsin and was the school’s first Rimington Trophy winner. He battled through injuries but said he is full-go after undergoing what he called minor shoulder surgery.
As for Frederick, they met once when Wisconsin played in the Cotton Bowl when he was a freshman.
“I tried to mold my game after him, watching him the last few years,” Biadasz said. “Just how well he used his technique, size that he has and his God-given athletic ability he has. Just overall a lot of respect for him, and I’m looking forward to continuing what he did at Dallas.”