If you haven’t heard the news, we have a new Offensive Lineman (and welcome back from that rock you were under). The Dallas Cowboys selected University of Wisconsin Center Travis Frederick with the 31st pick. Like most I was pretty shocked by this pick; but the more I’m digging into who Frederick is, the more it appears the Cowboys might think they’ve got another Andre Gurode.
Gurode was the 37th pick in the 2002 NFL Draft. A 6’4″ 316 lbs Center/Guard out of Colorado, who started all four years he was with the Buffaloes and earned a degree in Ethnic Studies. Not to mention he was a member of the school’s “Academic Starters” team. He was an immediate starter at Center for the Cowboys and provided much of the power up front in that ’02 season which assisted Emmitt Smith in becoming the All-Time Leading Rusher.
Gurode Pre-draft Measureables:
6 ft 4¼ in
8 ft 4 in
(All values from NFL Combine)
In 2003, Coach Bill Parcells shifted Gurode to Right Guard where he struggled, benching him at the end of 2004 due to poor play. However, at the start of 2005 he was back at Center position where he truly excelled. Becoming a 5-time Pro Bowler and a huge reason why the team showed some success in the 2006, 2007, and 2009 seasons. Unfortunately he was a casualty of the cap, Gurode wanted more money that the Cowboys were willing to spend on a 9 year veteran and he was waved at the beginning of the 2011 season.
Few would disagree now with the decision to nab up Gurode; leaving players such as Ben Leber LB, Clinton Portis RB, and a whole slew of capable Wide Receivers on the board (Cowboys position needs in 2002). The scouts knew that had a keeper with Andre Gurode.
Oct 6, 2012; Madison, WI, USA; Wisconsin Badgers center Travis Frederick (72) against the Illinois Fighting Illini at Camp Randall Stadium. The Badgers defeated the Fighting Illini 31-14. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports
Enter Roger Goodell, “With the 31st pick in the 2013 NFL Draft, the Dallas Cowboys select Travis Frederick” and then pandemonium broke out among Cowboys Fans everywhere. Here’s the thing not many people are talking about the fact Frederick is ranked as the #1 Center in this years draft. Plus, he was projected by several mock drafts as being a top 25 pick.
Frederick also started all four years and at 6’4″ 312 lbs and played both Center and Right Guard positions. He leaves the University of Wisconsin with a degree in engineering and is considered to have one of the highest IQ’s in this year’s draft. Like Gurode, his Combine results far exceed any other draft prospect who played at the Center position.
Frederick Pre-draft Measureables:
6 ft 3½ in
8 ft 8 in
(All values from NFL Combine)
What’s noticeable is how similar both Frederick and Gurode are in regards to their Combine results. However, some sports pundits seem to be focused directly on the 40-yard dash. Why? The only time a Center or Guard needs a “fast” 40-yard dash time is when they’re running to the end zone to celebrate a team touchdown. The fact is, as fans we’ve been “crying” about Jerry always taking the “sexy” pick that doesn’t pan out. The Cowboys had a need, and they drafted the best player on the board that fit that need. It’s really as simple as that.
Was this a good pick? Absolutely. The only question that remains is, was it a good first round pick? We really won’t know the answer to that until we see what he brings to the Cowboys. What we do know is Frederick is extremely smart and an outstanding talent at Center. So, how about a second serving of Andre Gurode; yes please.