Dallas Cowboys: Why the Travis Frederick retirement hurts and stings

(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)
(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images) /

The Dallas Cowboys fan base salutes offensive lineman Travis Frederick. He played six seasons with America’s Team after being drafted in the first round.

The man with the beard is retiring. The Dallas Cowboys offensive lineman, Travis Frederick, who played six seasons with the team, is saying goodbye to football. For Dallas, the pain from the sting begins now.

Frederick, who was drafted in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft, played six seasons for the Cowboys. He turned 29 just six days ago. The six-foot-four, 320-pound lineman, leaves a major hole at the center position.

Overall, no. 72 was nominated to five Pro Bowls. He earned First-Team All-Pro in 2016. He made the Second-Team All-Pro two times, in 2014 and 2015. Although he sat out the 2018 season, he played in every game since 2013, which totaled 96 regular-season games.

In 2016, Frederick signed a $54.6 million contract, with $28.16 million in guarantees. The six-year contract offered him a $3.25 million signing bonus. He was a lock to be a Cowboy into the 2023 season.

According to spotrac.com, his base salary in 2020 was $7 million. His salary-cap hit?

2020 = $11,975,000
2021 = $11,125,000
2022 = $10,190,000
2023 = $10,150,000

The Dallas Cowboys now add the center position to their to-do list as the NFL Draft nears. Frederick was quietly the soul and spirit of the Dallas Cowboys. He led the offensive line at the center position and was a cornerstone of a three-headed monster that included other first-round picks, Zack Martin and Tyron Smith.

Instead of aiming for young safeties, tight ends or cornerbacks in the 2020 NFL Draft, the Dallas Cowboys must expand their search for a replacement. The 2020 league year is starting out like the 2018 season. Frederick missed the 2018 NFL season due to Guillain-Barré syndrome, an autoimmune disease that attacks the body’s nervous system.

Frederick returned to the Dallas Cowboys in 2019 but wasn’t quite the same man. Though he played admirably, the offensive line did not have the same muscle as they did in previous seasons. The offensive unit overall, however, finished first in the NFL.

The 2019 season for Frederick was supposed to be a comeback year. With 2020 on the horizon, fans were hoping that the offensive unit would be back better than ever. Now, new head coach Mike McCarthy and the rest of the Dallas Cowboys must fill the void left by the standout Pro Bowl player.

This is a sad day for Cowboys Nation. Fans witnessed the Wisconsin product enter the league at the age of 22. Sadly, seven years later, the 31st overall pick in 2013 says goodbye to the NFL and the star.

When the beard was drafted in the first round, many were scratching their head, including the offensive lineman himself. Today, nobody is questioning that pick. Frederick was an anchor in the offense, a leader on and off the football field.

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His services will be missed. In 2018, the Dallas Cowboys made numerous adjustments to fill his void. Now, his absence is permanent and the search for the next beard starts now.