The quarterback of the Dallas Cowboys offensive line, Travis Frederick, had retired. Does his departure mark the collapse of the powerhouse offensive line?
There is a ton of value in quarterbacks since they are the decision-makers and they can control a game. Those that play center are looked at as the “quarterbacks of the offensive line.”
Dallas Cowboys center, Travis Frederick, has retired due to his disease and being unable to play at his best. As a result of this, the Cowboys line is now missing their centerpiece. Does the departure of Frederick mark the collapse of the powerhouse offensive line?
Like many Cowboys fans, I am deeply saddened by Frederick leaving. He has played great throughout his time with the team and even stuck around on the sidelines as he battled Guillain-Barré syndrome.
The Beard has had a great career, being nominated for five Pro Bowls, one first-team All-Pro and two second-team All-Pros. Every season he played, he was in the conversation of being the best center in the league.
The Cowboys will not only miss him as a premier blocker but also as a leader. They surely did when Frederick took a year off to seek treatment for his disease during the 2018 season.
One person that is truly going to miss Travis is quarterback Dak Prescott. That’s because he was sacked 56 times during that 2018 season. Then again, numerous injuries also played a huge role.
Before every play, you can see Frederick dissecting the defense and calling out assignments. He and Dak appeared to have perfect communication with each other to ensure the offensive line held up.
While there is a lot that is leaving the team between chemistry and talent, there is still a lot that will remain there. Two offensive linemen that were just named to the 2010s All-Decade Team in Tyron Smith and Zack Martin will still be dominating.
Alongside them is a guard turned tackle La’el Collins. While it was an adjustment for him, he has been playing better every season. Collins has to be one of the more entertaining linemen to watch because of his freakish strength.
Coming back from injury is a young offensive guard Connor Williams. He has been a solid addition since being drafted in the second round in 2018 but needs to remain healthy. He has missed eight games the past two seasons.
Now, filling in for Frederick in the center spot is Joe Looney. It shouldn’t take too much adjusting since it was Looney who replaced Frederick in 2018. Looney didn’t do too bad as far as blocking, but it was the communication between him and his linemates that seemed off.
If communication can be nailed down, then the line should play well. Maybe they won’t play as good as when Frederick was there, but they should play solid. So, yay the line won’t collapse, right? Not for now.
One issue is that there is another big name lineman that may be on watch to retire in the coming years. Tyron Smith is 29-years-old and has played four consistent 13-game seasons.
Sure, he isn’t an old player and would likely have at least another three Pro Bowl-caliber seasons. The injuries, however, may be a problem moving forward.
Every game, Smith wears an arm brace (because he is a beast it’s a leg brace on his arm) to support it. This can be looked at as good so an injury is prevented. It can also be a bad sign because needing it means there is a constant issue.
The ironic thing is that he has not been held out with an arm injury as of yet (knock on wood). He has, however, been held out with back injuries. Those have been known to hinder careers.
In 2018, eight games were missed by starting offensive linemen not named Frederick. That played a huge part in the poor play of the offensive line and the offense as a whole.
While the offensive line shouldn’t collapse, Frederick is the first of the big three to leave. Smith may be the next to go either by retirement or from an expiring contract in 2024.
Will Looney fix the communication issues from the 2018 season? Hopefully, an entire season as a backup and a full offseason as a starter will help this problem. What’s your favorite memory of Travis Frederick? Tell us in the comment section below.