IRVING (105.3 The Fan) – Dallas Cowboys center Travis Frederick, the team’s first-round pick making his debut in Friday’s rookie mini-camp at Valley Ranch, impressed with his size, intellect and “nastiness.’’
“It would be pretty illegal just to beat you up, but on the field I get a chance to do that,’’ said the Wisconsin product, who at 6’3” and almost 320 pounds as about as large as anybody who played center in the NFL. “The thing I like about football the most is that you get to do things on the field you can’t do off the field.”
This three-day session is a non-contact portion of the NFL schedule, so much of what Frederick was able to do was intellectual. He earned a degree in Chemical Engineering in three years — the sort of brain work that can be an attribute at the signal-calling center position.
“I thought it was evident in the last team drill,” offensive coordinator Bill Callahan said. “There was more tempo, and he was in and out of the huddle a lot faster. He was more aggressive getting to the line, making the calls, and then hustling back and getting everybody re-huddled – just those simple mechanics that you take for granted sometimes. We’re trying to get them established on a Day 1 practice.”
Added head coach Jason Garrett: “He’s tough and he’s physical. Kind of an old-time offensive lineman, in a positive way.’’
Frederick is billed as being capable of playing guard or center. He worked almost exclusively at center on Friday, only struggling on a pair of shotgun snaps.
“I studied as hard as I could to play center,” he said. “I knew I was going to take a lot of center reps. A ton of calls that go into that.”
Dallas projects Frederick as a starter, maybe the only player in this draft class who might do so immediately. There is a profile that goes with that — even beyond the recognition that comes with the massive beard that he is considering shaving to help him “eat Texas barbecue.’’
“I can prove some people wrong,” Frederick said, aware of the criticism that Dallas ranked him higher than many other NFL teams. “The first thing I need to do is establish myself, establish myself as a worker, someone the guys can trust, somebody they believe in in the weight room and somebody they believe in on the practice field. After that, I think things start to come into place.”
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