Cowboys’ Travis Frederick Announces Retirement

Cowboys center Travis Frederick, who missed the entire 2018 season while dealing with Guillain–Barré syndrome before returning for the 2019 campaign, has announced his retirement from the NFL.

“[2019] was a difficult year for me,” Frederick said in a statement released on Twitter. “Each day I faced a struggle: I could no longer perform at my highest level. Playing “well” is not what I expect of myself and is not what my teammates deserve.”

Selected by the Cowboys with the 31st overall pick in the 2013 draft, Frederick is arguably the greatest center of his generation. In his six healthy NFL seasons, Frederick started all 96 possible games, and routinely graded at the top of Pro Football Focus’ center rankings.

Still only 29 years old, Frederick was a key cog in a Dallas offensive line that was the NFL’s best for most of the 2010s. A five-time Pro Bowler (including in 2019), Frederick also earned a first-team All-Pro nod in 2016 and second-team berths in 2014 and 2015.

The loss of Frederick creates a massive hole in the middle of the Cowboys’ front five. Veteran Joe Looney, re-signed to a new contract last week, could take over at the pivot, as could 2019 third-rounder Connor McGovern. Alternatively, Dallas could look to the free agent market (where the options are slim), explore a trade for a center, or spend another draft pick on the position.

Clearly, Frederick’s long-term health is the most important factor in his hanging up his cleats, but his retirement will have an effect on the Cowboys’ salary cap. Dallas will incur a dead money charge of $11.04MM in 2020 due to Frederick’s retirement, while the move opens up just $935K in cap space.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

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30 comments on “Cowboys’ Travis Frederick Announces Retirement

  1. larrybrett3305

    Wow. That sucks. Didn’t see this coming. Good luck to Frederick in his post-football endeavors.

  2. myaccount

    Wow, was not expecting this. Huge blow to the Cowboys. Great career for Frederick.

  3. Wellthisshouldbeinteresting

    It’s a bold strategy, Cotton. Let’s see if it pays off for em.

  4. JJB0811

    Another 1st rounder retiring early. Bank it guys and get on w/ your lives.

  5. phillyballers

    Boned the team with this one. I mean he was a Pro Bowler in 2019. He wasnt the top rated C but still graded as above average by PFF. If he is in pain and can’t continue that’s understandable but the prognosis is pretty good for GBD if he was able to get back on the field after missing a year.

    • HailRodgers12$

      Omg he was a pro bowler. How dare he consider his long term health and walk away now.

      As for “boning the team” it’s not like he waited til the week before the season started. There’s a lot of time, and the draft, for Dallas to work on finding his replacement.

      • phillyballers

        Hes a pro bowler i.e. his production isnt replaceable. Boning the team with an 11.5M cap hit. Theres no FA center anywhere near his caliber. And no one trades a good center. It’s rare. I literally said if hes in pain that’s understandable so get off your high horse.

        • dynamite drop in monty

          Yeah but you’re contradicting yourself by griping that’s he’s somehow doing a malicious disservice to the team AND saying it’s understandable because he’s “in pain”.

  6. cleve1969

    Thanks Frederick for the years you gave us … its now time to take care of your health. May it be a long healthy life …

  7. ffjsisk

    Guillain-Barre is a terrible disease. Good luck to him with life…so much more important than football.

  8. DarkSide830

    gotta give him some credit for managing to even get back on the field last year, let alone for most of the season. that itself was pretty impressive.

  9. rascalnky

    I’m sure a lot of NFC East DT are glad but Frederick was a beast.

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