Joe Looney to Cowboys: Latest Contract Details, Comments and Reaction

Scott PolacekFeatured ColumnistMarch 29, 2016

NASHVILLE, TN - NOVEMBER 15:  Joe Looney #78 of the Tennessee Titans runs onto the field before a game against the Carolina Panthers at Nissan Stadium on November 15, 2015 in Nashville, Tennessee.  (Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)
Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

The Dallas Cowboys added a piece to their interior offensive line on Tuesday with the signing of offensive guard/center Joe Looney.

According to David Helman of the team's official website, the Cowboys inked Looney to a two-year deal. Helman said the exact terms of the deal were not immediately known.

Helman noted Tuesday's signing would help Dallas account for the loss of Mackenzy Bernadeau, who was versatile enough to play center and guard on the interior. Bernadeau signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars this offseason, which left the Cowboys without a viable backup option behind center Travis Frederick until the addition of Looney. 

It doesn't come as much surprise Dallas signed Looney considering Charean Williams of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported on Monday he was visiting the team.

Looney was a fourth-round pick out of Wake Forest in 2012 by the San Francisco 49ers. According to, he appeared in 27 games with 10 starts for the 49ers and Tennessee Titans throughout his career. Six of those starts came last season for Tennessee.

The Cowboys are likely looking to improve their offensive line play from a season ago on their quest to return to the playoffs, and Looney provides them with important depth. 

Football Outsiders ranked the Cowboys offensive line as the sixth-best run-blocking unit in the league last year but a mediocre 19th in pass protection. That was a drop-off from the previous season, when Football Outsiders rated Dallas as first in run blocking and 16th in pass protection.

The decrease in the quality of offensive line play was one of a handful of reasons (not the least of which was the health of quarterback Tony Romo) that Dallas went from 12-4 and the NFC East championship in 2014 to 4-12 and last place in its division in 2015. 

Looney will give Dallas some versatility up front because he can also play either center or guard, much like Bernadeau did. That will help in the face of injuries or a lack of performance across the line. 

What's more, Looney is only 25 years old and fresh off a career-high six starts in 2015. He theoretically has plenty of productive seasons remaining and could be turning the corner as an impact offensive lineman.