#72 Travis Frederick
Travis Frederick was born in Sharon, Wisconsin on March 18, 1991. He played his collegiate football career at Wisconsin and is a center in the NFL for the Dallas Cowboys, who drafted him in the first round of the 2013 NFL Draft.
Travis Frederick attended Big Foot High School in Walworth, Wisconsin. While at Big Foot, Frederick enjoyed a successful high school career in both the classroom and playing several different sports. He made a name for himself on the football field as a two-way lineman, but he also wrestled and was part of the track and field team.
Frederick was a student athlete at Big Foot High School. He graduated with an impressive 4.06 GPA and finished ranked second in his class.
As part of the track team, Frederick threw the discus and shot put. In 2008, he finished second in shot put at the BDN Invite, with a throw of 15.23 m (49’11”). Frederick also took silver in the discus throw at the 2008 WIAA Sectional Championships, with a throw of 49.30 m (161’10”).
Travis Frederick really made his mark in high school on the football field. In fact, he is the only player in the school’s history to have his jersey number retired. He was an All-State two-way lineman and helped lead his team to the 2008 WIAA Division 4 state playoffs, where they finished second.
Frederick was a three-time All-State selection and was named the Beloit Daily News and Wisconsin State Journal Player of the Year as a senior. Also as a senior, Frederick was named All-County, All-District and Conference Lineman.
Travis Frederick’s recruitment statement to collegiate programs:
“My name is Travis Frederick and I am a 2009 graduate from Big Foot High School in Walworth, Wisconsin. Football is my passion and I cannot wait to play at the collegiate level. I also love math and science which will suit me very well as I pursue a degree in Aerospace Engineering. I’m looking for a college that offers an engineering curriculum so I can work towards my goals of being an aerospace engineer. I work very hard both on and off the field carrying a 4.06 GPA and holding a 2nd in class rank. I look forward to looking at my options and hope to find the right college match.”
Travis Frederick was considered a three-star recruit by Rivals.com coming out of high school. He received interest from Iowa, Michigan State, and Stanford, but his only offers were from Air Force, Navy, North Dakota State, and the Wisconsin Badgers.
Frederick ultimately decided that he would attend Wisconsin and even graduated a semester early from high school in order to be ready for spring practices.
Travis Frederick’s decision to graduate high school a semester early so that he could participate in Wisconsin’s spring practices paid off. He was the first true freshman offensive lineman to start the season opener in school history, when he lined up at center against Northern Illinois in 2009. Unfortunately, an ankle injury in week 2 would keep him out of the starting lineup until the final two games when he played left guard as an injury replacement.
In 2010, Wisconsin’s coaching staff decided to red-shirt Frederick in order to preserve a year of his NCAA eligibility. In his red-shirt sophomore season, Frederick started 11 of 13 games at left guard and also started two games at center as a substitute for Peter Konz.
As a junior in 2012, Travis Frederick took over the center responsibilities permanently when Peter Konz left for the NFL. He was named All-American and All-Big Ten Conference first-team based on his 2012 performance. He also added Academic All-Big Ten honors and was named to the watch list for the Remington and Outland Trophies.
Travis Frederick announced that he would forgo his senior season and enter the 2013 NFL Draft after the Badgers were defeated by Stanford in the 2013 Rose Bowl.
In his collegiate career at Wisconsin, Travis Frederick appeared in 32 games and started 31 of those contests. He started 13 games at left guard and another 18 at center for the Badgers.
2013 NFL Draft
Draft analyst Mel Kiper Jr. for ESPN considered Travis Frederick to be the #1 center in the 2013 NFL Draft. Frederick was projected to be a second or third round selection before the Dallas Cowboys ultimately decided to draft him in the first round.
The Cowboys traded their first-round draft pick (18th overall) to the San Francisco 49ers in exchange for the 49ers first-round pick (31st overall) and their third round selection (74th overall), which they used to draft Terrance Williams. With the 31st draft pick, the Dallas Cowboys selected Travis Frederick, Center out of Wisconsin.
The selection of Frederick was widely considered a reach at the time because he was projected to be a second or third round draft pick. It was believed that the Cowboys received poor compensation for trading down 13 spots. Also, Travis Frederick’s poor performance at the 2013 NFL Scouting Combine played a big part in the criticism. He ran the second slowest 40 yard dash (5.58 sec.) among offensive lineman and posted below average reps on bench press (21).
Travis Frederick was named the starter at center from day one of Organized Team Activities when he replaced Phil Costa, who started for the Dallas Cowboys at center the two previous seasons.
Frederick became the first rookie offensive lineman to start every game at center in franchise history and went on to be selected to the NFL All-Rookie team in his first year in the NFL.
In 2014, Travis Frederick was voted into his first Pro Bowl and anchored arguably the best offensive line in the NFL. Frederick was also named Second-team All-Pro and PFWA All-NFC in his second year in the NFL.
In 2015, Travis Frederick earned his second Pro Bowl appearance and was also named Second-team All-Pro. He had to really earn his second Pro Bowl, because he had to work with four different starting quarterbacks with different degrees of knowledge of the offensive scheme, which required him to make more protection calls than usual.
Travis Frederick is entering the final year of his rookie contract, but the Dallas Cowboys still hold his fifth year option.
The total value of Travis Frederick’s rookie contract is $6,870,028 and he will make an average of $1,717,507, $5,528,206 of which is fully guaranteed. Frederick is the 21st highest-paid center in the NFL out of 95 centers.
He is entering the final year of his rookie contract and is guaranteed to make $1,341,822. He will have a cap number of $2,185,918 in 2016. The Dallas Cowboys will then have to decide if they want to pick up his fifth year option or try to sign him to a long-term contract.
LB Justin Phillips Making a Case to Become a Roster Lock With Cowboys
In Jaylon Smith and Leighton Vander Esch, the Dallas Cowboys arguably have the best linebacker duo in the entire NFL. They also have some pretty solid backups in Sean Lee and Joe Thomas, but the depth behind those four is completely up in the air. That is excellent news for an undrafted LB like Justin Phillips.
The former Oklahoma State Cowboy LB signed with the Dallas Cowboys as an undrafted free agent after the completion of the 2019 NFL Draft. To go from being an Oklahoma State Cowboy to a Dallas Cowboy must've been a dream come true, especially for a kid from Pearland, Texas who rooted for America's Team growing up. The dream probably won't be complete though unless a roster spot comes with it.
Surprisingly, Justin Phillips has put himself into contention to earn one of those coveted roster spots. The way he has played in the first two preseason games has caught the attention of quite a few people, which should make it extremely difficult for the Cowboys coaching staff when it comes to making roster cut decisions. Dallas Cowboys Staff Writer and former Scout Bryan Broaddus agrees…
"Justin Phillips is going to make it hard on this staff to put him on the street. Not only is his finish impressive, but the awareness he plays with in pass coverage is impressive. There is no way I thought he had a chance for that interception, especially with this initial step into the line, but his ability to turn and run to a spot saved him."
Here is the play/interception Broaddus is referring to:
The Dallas Cowboys have typically only carried six linebackers on their 53-man roster these past few years. With four spots already spoken for, Justin Phillips is doing his damnedest to lock down one of those final two up for grabs. That, of course, is easier said than done.
Phillips is likely competing with Justin March-Lillard, who led the team in tackles against the Los Angeles Rams last week and fellow undrafted rookie LB Luke Gifford. Gifford, of course, missed the game against the Rams with an ankle injury he sustained in Week 1 of the preseason against the 49ers. It was actually that injury that resulted in more playing time for Justin Phillips.
If you're doing the math here, that's three linebackers competing for two roster spots. March-Lillard probably has the upper hand right now over the two rookies, but I wouldn't say he's secured a job just yet. That leaves the door open for No. 44 (Phillips) and No. 57 (Gifford).
As much as I like Luke Gifford, and I do, I think the stars could be aligning for Justin Phillips to make it through roster cuts. He's playing really well right now, while all Gifford can do is watch from the sideline until he can get back on the field. Regardless though, it's a position battle worth keeping an eye on.
Do you think LB Justin Phillips has done enough to secure a roster spot?
How Kris Richard May Help CB Michael Jackson Make Cowboys Roster
Cornerback Michael Jackson, one of the Dallas Cowboys' 5th-round picks in the 2019 NFL Draft, has not been standing out so far in training camp or preseason. But despite the slow start, the influence of Defensive Backs Coach Kris Richard could help keep Jackson on the 53-man roster this year.
While no team likes parting with their drafted rookies, it certainly happens. That's especially true for Day 3 players, even 5th rounders, and particularly when a team is as deep with talent right now as the 2019 Cowboys.
The cornerback position is one of Dallas' most loaded. They go four-deep with starting talent in Byron Jones, Chidobe Awuzie, Anthony Brown, and Jourdan Lewis, which leaves just one or two roster spots for the remaining prospects.
Michael Jackson is in competition with veteran C.J. Goodwin and the intriguing Donovan Olumba. Both were with the team last year; Goodwin was a special teams contributor and Olumba was a valuable developmental asset on the practice squad.
So far this preseason, we've seen Goodwin shining on special teams and Olumba making plays at cornerback. Jackson hasn't stood out, unless you count jokes about thin he looks on the field.
In contrast, fellow 5th-round rookie Joe Jackson has been showing up at defensive end. Even if there were no suspension concerns with Robert Quinn and Randy Gregory, Joe Jackson has made himself very difficult to cut.
But despite not having that same momentum or energy around him yet, Michael Jackson may still find his way onto the 53-man roster. And that may have something to do with his position coach.
Since arriving in Dallas during the 2018 offseason, Kris Richard has quickly gained prominence beyond just his official role as the Defensive Backs Coach. He was working as the defensive play-caller last year and is expected to take over fully in 2020, assuming Rod Marinelli retires and Richard doesn't leave for a head coaching opportunity.
When Dallas selected Michael Jackson in the last draft, Jackson became the first cornerback or safety drafted by the Cowboys since Richard arrived. Given that it happened this year, with Richard's influence clearly high on the defense, one would assume that Kris had a big say in the decision to draft Jackson.
No, Richard certainly can't veto any decision made by the Joneses, Will McClay, Jason Garrett, or even Marinelli when it comes to roster management. But if he has any bias towards Jackson as his first draft pick in Dallas, Kris may fight for the rookie more than someone else.
We're all human; agendas come into play. Kris Richard may be more passionate about seeing Michael Jackson succeeding for a variety of reasons. He may pound the table for the team to keep Jackson louder than anyone else in the room.
That doesn't necessarily mean keeping Jackson over some other cornerback, either. The argument could be to go long at CB at the expense of another position; maybe only keeing two quarterbacks or eight offensive linemen to free up a roster spot.
This is purely speculative, of course. For all we know, Richard could be the first one who loses faith and votes to let Jackson go.
But given the situation and all factors involved, it's more likely that Kris Richard will be invested in seeing Michael Jackson succeed and sticking with the Cowboys in 2019. Hopefully, it's in the best interest of the team overall.
DL Kerry Hyder Impressive In Cowboys Week 2 Preseason Win
Kerry Hyder joined the Cowboys this offseason on a one year deal, and while the four-year NFL veteran has put up some solid tape in his time around the league, it was hard to project just what he could bring to the Cowboys defense.
Listed at 6'2" 270 pounds, Hyder is a bit of a tweener on the defensive line. Though the answer to "will he play tackle or end" seems to be "both" to this point in the preseason.
As he fights for his life on this deep defensive line, Kerry Hyder had himself a day in the Cowboys 14-10 victory over the Rams last weekend.
Hyder made an excellent play defending a screen pass in the first quarter, reading the play perfectly and reacting quickly to running back Darrell Henderson coming out of the backfield. Hyder also created some pressure on the quarterback, and finished with 3 combined tackles in very limited playing time.
Hyder's versatility is working well for him as he looks to make the final roster. Like a Tyrone Crawford type player, Hyder will be able to move inside and out depending on the situation. This allows the Cowboys to be flexible in how they structure their depth chart on defense, and in how they decide to rush the passer on third down.
A pass rushing package involving Robert Quinn and DeMarcus Lawrence on the edge with the combination of Hyder and Maliek Collins on the inside could turn out to be a very dangerous one for opposing offenses to deal with.
Rod Marinelli spoke to this versatility a couple of months ago, showing just how much he values what Kerry Hyder can bring to this team.
"Maybe you adjust him sometime, once in a while – in a one-on-one pass rush situation, stick him over a guard and start to get a feel for it.” - Rod Marinelli
Earlier this offseason, I wrote that Kerry Hyder could end up being Rod Marinelli's next great under-the-radar find on the defensive line. And if he continues to play with the hustle and awareness that he had on Saturday, he's going to make Rod look very smart in his evaluation.
Kerry Hyder is making it very difficult for the front office to let him go. And, at the end of the preseason, I do expect Kerry Hyder to find himself on the Cowboys' active roster. Especially considering how Mike White is playing at quarterback, and how his release could open up an extra spot at a different position group.
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