Joe Looney had a solid senior season with the Wake Forest Demon Deacons and managed to surprise everyone by getting selected in the 2012 NFL draft.
The 6’3”, 309-pound guard was unable to participate in the draft combine or Wake Forest’s pro day due to an ankle injury.
Fortunately, he had a good week of practice in Tampa for the East-West Shrine game, and that gave scouts the look they needed to put this guy back on the big board.
Looney is a strong run blocker with a winning mentality and figures to be a great locker room presence.
However, he wasn’t on a particularly good line during college and the Demon Deacons gave up many sacks and had trouble establishing the run during his senior year.
In 2011, Looney’s line was No. 89 in sacks allowed and No. 104 in total rushing. He’ll have to prove he was not the reason for those pitiful stats.
ProFootballWeekly.com believes that Looney’s initial quickness and strong body made him a third-round value, but his nagging injuries killed his value.
He’s got a lot of work to do to become a starter in this league and PFW believes his short arms and inconsistency may hurt his career.
Looney is not going to step in and become a Pro Bowler in his rookie season, but he’s versatile enough to fill in as a backup for a number of positions along the offensive line.
At worst, he is a practice squad player, but he has a good shot of making the roster.
The 49ers finally drafted their guard, though three rounds later than many people thought. Adam Snyder and Chilo Rachal were both lost in free agency, so Looney should have opportunity to win a starting job in training camp.
ARLINGTON — Cowboys center Joe Looney is adjusting to the increased scrutiny on him as he fills in for All-Pro Travis Frederick, who is out indefinitely with an auto-immune disorder.
Not only are regular crowds of cameras gathering around his locker, but his play is being analyzed more as well.
During Sunday night’s preseason loss to the Arizona Cardinals, with the line struggling at times while missing three regular starters, he made a couple of memorable plays and held his own. According to Pro Football Focus, he played 30 offensive snaps and allowed zero total pressures on 19 pass blocking snaps.
On one play, Looney pulled to the right and made a nice block to clear the way for running back Rod Smith.
At the end of the first half, he also helped chase down a Cardinals player after backup quarterback Cooper Rush threw an interception at the end of the half. While making the tackle, he banged up his hand.
Doctors looked at it on the bench, but determined he was fine. The last thing the Cowboys need is another O-line injury.
“I don’t make a lot of tackles,” Looney said Sunday night. “I haven’t made a tackle since high school. So my form is not up to par, but my hand is fine. I just hit it wrong. …It’s one of those nicks in a game where it hurts but you just deal with it.”
Looney, who spent most of his previous six seasons in the NFL as a backup, said he was happy to see Frederick on the sideline Sunday. Frederick continues to work with Looney, offering advice and critiques.
“They’re pretty detailed, you know Travis,” Looney said. “It’s good for me to hear while I’m out there, helps me during the game. And ultimately, it’s going to help the team.”
FRISCO — So you ate too much last week during Thanksgiving, huh? No problem, Cowboys center Joe Looney is here for you.
Looney, at 315 pounds but all personality, says he has a solution for anyone looking to drop a few pounds.
Looney on Monday was asked by a local TV camerman about his fondness of Mr. Goodbars, the candy bar in a yellow wrapper containing peanuts and chocolate. Looney turned to his locker at The Star and pulled out a large, half-eaten Mr. Goodbar in the wrapper and small container full of the candy.
“I’ve got two chocolates in here. Which one y’all want?” Looney said to reporters.
Reporter: “Is this Body by Mr. Goodbar?”
“Oh yeah. This is body by Mike Woicik, our strength coach,” said a shirtless Looney. “If you guys are looking to look like this, then get on my eight-week program, dark chocolate, peanut butter and Mr. Goodbars, so y’all let me know. I only charge $25 a session. Eight weeks, you can look like this.”
As Looney gave his pitch, he flexed his pecs one by one. Looney then posed and flexed his biceps in front of his locker.
“Oh, easy,” Looney said. “Call me.”
Looney signed a two-year deal worth $2.1 million ahead of the 2018 season but the second year was actually a team option that needed to be picked up before before the close of the NFL business year at 3 p.m. on March 13. He’ll earn a base salary of just $1 million and an incentive bonus of $500,000 for this season.
The decision to pick up Looney’s option is a no-brainer after the 28-year-old stepped into the starting center role after Travis Frederick was diagnosed with a rare disease and ultimately missed the entire season.
Looney performed admirably in Frederick’s absence and will continue to be a quality depth option for the offensive line in 2019 with Frederick declaring to 105.3 The Fan that he feels “really good about next season.”
A bombshell was dropped yesterday as news broke that All-Pro Center Travis Frederick would miss an indefinite amount of time due to being diagnosed with Guillain-Bare Syndrome. It is a rare auto-immune disease that forces the body to attack its own nerves. Frederick said that it was a positive sign that they caught it early but there is still no timetable for a full recovery as of yet.
While the Cowboys and their fans pray for Frederick to just get better and make a full-recovery from such a terrible disease, the team has to move on and begin searching for his replacement. The team might look at waiver cuts, trades or even free agency, there is one capable player on the roster that could take over.
Cowboys fans know backup center Joe Looney more for his humor and out of shape body than his football skills. Looney, a free-agent pickup in 2016, played multiple positions along the interior of the offensive line. He played tight-end as well when Geoff Swain was injured and contributed during short-yardage situations. He loves to be a goofball and play pranks on his teammates, just like the time he impersonated running back Zeke Elliott.
Now the humor has to turn into leadership as the team needs him to step in during one of the most delicate situations this team has faced in awhile. The big question is can he play well enough?
So far in camp, Looney has been one of the major bright spots and has surprised a lot of the media and scouts watching him. This season he showed up in the best shape he’s ever been in since he became a Cowboy and he started to do much better in camp. His play through two preseason games has garnered him praise and he is frequently mentioned in the same sentences as the starting five at times.
Looney knows he has some big shoes to fill and praises the man he’s stepping in for.
With two preseason games left, it is unclear if Looney will play much since he is now the starter for the season opener. One this is for sure that Looney looks the part so far and is ready to hold down the fort while his teammate fights a more important battle.