Career Accolades: 4x Pro Bowl (2014-2017), First-team All-Pro (2016), 2x Second-team All-Pro (2014, 2015), PFWA All-Rookie Team (2013)
Travis Fredrick was considered the best center in the 2013 NFL Draft by Mel Kiper Jr. of ESPN and was projected as a second to third-round selection. Fortunately, after trading back from the number 19 pick, the Dallas Cowboys “reached” and selected the Wisconsin linemen with the 32nd pick.
This decision caused a stir in the media because it was not only seen as a reach, but the trade was also criticized for bringing poor compensation after moving down 13 positions. However, Frederick was named a starter from the first day of Organized Team Activities in the preseason, replacing Phil Costa, who had been the starter in the previous two years. He became the first rookie in franchise history to start every game at center and was selected to the NFL All-Rookie team.
What many considered a reach has now become one of the most valuable picks in the Jason Garrett era. Dallas began molding a blueprint as the next five drafts would see them walk away with two first-round talents and a second-round pick for their offensive line(Zach Martin, La’El Collins and Connor Williams).
Prior to 2013, the Cowboys had not reached the top-10 in rushing since 2009. Since Fredrick was drafted, the Cowboys have had five seasons in which they were a top-10 rushing team – 3 of which they sat at number two.
Fredrick had contributed consistently at an elite level since he was drafted until he was diagnosed with Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), an autoimmune disease that tore through Fredrick’s nervous system, during the 2018 preseason.
The shocking news circulated through the Dallas, and NFL, community as the former All-Pro would be forced to miss the entire 2018 season. After two straight seasons of finishing as the number two ranked rushing team, Dallas dropped to number 10. The Cowboys struggled offensively, especially in the RedZone. So far in 2019, the Cowboys are 5-of-6 inside the 20-yard line through two games. A drastic improvement from their sub-40 percent efficiency in 2018.
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Today marks one year since I was diagnosed with the autoimmune disorder called Guillian-Barré Syndrome. In reflection, this past year has been quite a journey and I’d like to express some gratitude: to my fans, supporters, and strangers that have reached out, thank you for providing outlook and encouragement; to my trainers, doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals, thank you for continuing to push until we found a diagnosis and getting me the best available care as quickly as possible; to my coaches and the Cowboys organization, thank you for sticking with me and allowing me to be a part of an amazing year last year; to my strength coaches and rehab specialists, thank you for being by my side through the tough moments when we didn’t know where this thing would end up; to my teammates, thank you for accepting what I had to offer and having me along for the ride; to my friends and family, I’ve learned your love and support has no end, and I cannot thank you enough. To everyone that has reached out with their story or asked for support in their or a loved one’s journey, you’ve shown me that there is a huge community of others that have been or are going through it. You are not alone, and there is hope. Most importantly, to my wife, Kaylee, thank you for your relentless guidance, care, love, and support, and thank you for all of the hard work you did to pick up all of the slack that I left. I am excited to put this chapter of life behind me, and get back to normal. I’ve never been so happy to see normal again. Sincerely, Travis
Frederick had shoulder surgery and had a sports hernia repaired this offseason. That, more than the GBS, kept him off the field in the Cowboys’ 2019 organized team activities and minicamp.
Heading into week 3, Fredrick has helped elevate this offense to one of the most productive units we’ve seen this decade. And after Dallas allowed 56 sacks last year, Prescott, more than anyone, should’ve been overjoyed to have 72 back in the middle of the line.
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