Joe Looney was an underrated free agent signing for the Cowboys. He replaces Mackenzy Bernadeau as a swing guard/center who likely is active on game day.
In his four seasons in Dallas, Bernadeau was active for all 64 games, though he made only two starts the past two seasons combined. Bernadeau signed a two-year, $3 million deal with Jacksonville as a free agent.
“He has a chance to come in and compete,” Cowboys coach Jason Garrett said of Looney. “He’s someone we talked a lot about when he was coming out in the  draft, and he’s had a good career so far in San Francisco and Tennessee, and he’s been in that role. He’s been in that role as a backup center and a backup guard. He’s played. He’s played for both of those teams and done a nice job for them. So we’re excited about having him here. We’ve had great reports on him – his personal character, his football character. We’ve seen that since the offseason program started.”
Looney, 25, was a fourth-round pick of the 49ers in 2012. He has played center, right guard and left guard in his four NFL seasons – three in San Francisco and one in Tennessee.
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He signed a two-year, $1.675 million deal with a $100,000 signing bonus.
“I’ll do whatever it is for the team, wherever they need me,” Looney said. “Whenever my number is called, my job is just to make sure I’m ready to play.”
Looney said he selected the Cowboys for the chance to join “one of the best offensive lines,” even though he knows it likely means he won’t play much – if at all – on offense this season.
“To be able to play with guys like Zack [Martin], Travis [Frederick], Tyron Smith, Doug Free, you don’t get a better group than that,” Looney said. “Then, coach Frank [Pollack] coaching us up. It’s an honor to be here.”