Dak Prescott must overcome loss of Travis Frederick
Travis Frederick’s backup, Joe Looney has big shoes to fill unless QB Dak Prescott is ready to assume more responsibility of the Dallas Cowboys‘ offense.
Often, I have openly criticized the Dallas Cowboys front office for investing too many first round draft picks on offensive linemen. In recent years, talented running backs DeMarco Murray and Ezekiel Elliott were able to lead the NFL in rushing yards by running behind our dominant offensive line. With 1,000 yards being a generic benchmark of success, running back Darren McFadden also had one of his best seasons with the Cowboys offensive line.
I still do not believe that every player on the offensive line needs to be a first-round talent. Sometimes, blocking is as simple as getting in a defenders way. There were times I believed the Cowboys former guard Mackenzy Bernadeau could’ve been replaced with a mannequin and nobody would notice. However, that is not the case with center Travis Frederick.
Frederick is an essential element that will be missed as he indefinitely battles Guillain-Barre syndrome, an autoimmune disease. Frederick and his beard have become the face of the offensive line. Frederick’s play has gotten him elected to the Pro-Bowl in four of his last five season. His backup, Joe Looney will have big shoes to fill unless quarterback Dak Prescott is ready to assume more responsibility with the offense.
Former veteran quarterback, Tony Romo called the plays in the huddle but also surveyed the entire defense and established the pass protection or blocking assignments for the offensive line. Everyone in Cowboy Nation should remember this play where Romo pointed out that New York Giants linebacker Jameel McClain was – “The Mike” – or middle linebacker. Notice that two defenders hit Romo as hit slid past the first down marker. There should’ve been 6 flags thrown and the play should’ve resulted in an automatic touchdown.
The Cowboys front office fell in love with a winning streak and refused to give the better, healthy veteran quarterback an opportunity to win a Lombardi. That failure made the Cowboys under Prescott, the only number one seed in the last 10 years to not reach the Super Bowl.
It was that season when Frederick showed his value to the Cowboys. During the transition to Prescott, Frederick has been responsible for calling the offensive line pass protection and blocking schemes by deciding which defender is – The Mike.
I believe Joe Looney is going to become responsible for those calls now. For this team to be successful, it’s more important for Prescott to focus on his new group of generic receivers and to avoid pick-6’s (interceptions returned for touchdowns) when overthrowing passes to Elliott when he was 7 yards downfield but one yard behind the line of scrimmage. The Cowboys don’t need to give Prescott more to think about.