Former Wisconsin Badgers center Travis Frederick retires from the NFL

Tanya Simon
March 25, 2020

Joe Looney is set to be the top returning center on the team's roster, although Frederick's departure could prompt owner Jerry Jones into looking into the free-agency market for a replacement.

The Cowboys drafted Frederick 31st overall in 2013 out of the University of Wisconsin.

"Because of this, I know my days as a football player are done".

"I made my return to the field, played well overall, and was selected to the Pro Bowl, but it was a hard year for me", he wrote. That's when he knew his time playing on the field is up.

There are four years remaining on the $55 million extension Frederick signed during the preseason in 2016.

Frederick is the seventh starter to leave Dallas this offseason, including cornerback Byron Jones, defensive end Robert Quinn, defensive tackle Maliek Collins, slot receiver Randall Cobb, tight end Jason Witten and safety Jeff Heath.

Since 1970, Martin, Frederick and Smith make up the only offensive line trio to make five (or more) Pro Bowls together, according to Elias Sports Bureau research.

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As they each approach what should be the prime of their careers, one of the pillars is walking away.

In his announcement, Frederick made reference to his battle with Guillain-Barré syndrome, an autoimmune disease that affects the nervous system, which knocked him off the field in 2018. However, he silenced the doubters by becoming one of the best centers in the NFL. He arrived in Dallas in 2018 as a waiver pickup as a center and was active for one game last season, before going on injured reserve with a back injury.

Frederick returned in 2019 and said after the season he was pleased with the way he played.

Outside of missing out on the 2018 period, Frederick has actually been healthy and balanced when he's played. Connor McGovern, Adam Redmond and perhaps Connor Williams could be in the mix. ESPN Insider Mel Kiper Jr. has Cesar Ruiz as the highest rated center and the 25th-ranked player on his board, but in talking about Ruiz, he mentions his ability to play guard, as well.

Any of them could do fine in filling in for Frederick, and the Cowboys still can be a playoff team in coach Mike McCarthy's first season.

Frederick said the year not playing forced him to consider life after football.

"Travis Frederick, by the nature of his center position, was the core piece of what I believe to be one of the most talented and skilled National Football League offensive lines that has been assembled", Cowboys owner and general manager Jerry Jones said in a statement.

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