By all accounts, the Dallas Cowboys had an excellent draft in 2013. But the gem that appears to be shining brighter than all the others is center Travis Frederick. The Cowboys first round pick, a center out of Wisconsin, has won a number of accolades as a rookie, helping to solidify Dallas’ struggling offensive line. Now, the MMQB.com has an award for Frederick in anticipation of his next season.
Frederick has been named to their 2014 All-Emerge Team. MMQB’s Andy Benoit explains why he thinks the young center could reach All-Pro status later this year:
“Frederick, the 31st overall pick of 2013, did nothing early last season to dispel many draft analysts’ carps about his being selected a full round too soon. But any rookie center is bound to struggle, especially when working between a pair of makeshift guards like Mackenzy Bernadeau and Ronald Leary. As the season progressed, so did the former Wisconsin Badger. By December, Frederick was being credited with stabilizing an overachieving offensive line. He flashed sheer dominance as a reach-and-seal blocker in the running game and cut down on his mental mistakes in pass protection. This year, the 23-year-old will be talked about as a potential Pro Bowler.”
Dallas will be looking to aid Frederick in this quest by bookending him with better quality guard play this offseason. Either through free agency or the draft, the Cowboys should look to replace Bernadeau as a possible starter. The Cowboys lost All-Pro guard Brian Waters last season to a triceps injury, after luring him out of retirement. It is unclear if the 37-year old will re-sign with the team this offseason or simply choose to retire once again. Regardless for what Waters elects to do, Dallas needs to get younger and healthier at the guard position.