DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Dallas Cowboys Center Travis Frederick has announced his retirement with a heart-felt statement on Twitter.
Frederick said retiring wasn’t an easy decision, acknowledging football gave him “many amazing things.”
But his statement also pointed to the more brutal reality of playing professional level football.
“Football is risky. Each day, players go to work knowing this could be their last day playing. Facing the potential end of my career because of my illness forced me to imagine life after football. I had to prepare for my career potentially ending. Some players fear life when it no longer revolves around football; the moment one stops playing the sport to which one’s identity and dreams have been tied to for 20 years. After months of contemplation, I not only accepted that moment, but I also, surprisingly found myself welcoming the moment. I was ready for the next stage of my life; however, the competitor in me would not accept going out without returning to the field.”
— Travis Frederick (@tfrederick72) March 23, 2020
Travis Frederick, by the nature of his center position, was the core piece of what I believe to be one of the most talented and skilled NFL offensive lines that has been assembled,” said Cowboys owner, Jerry Jones. “His leadership ability, production and intelligence put him at the top level of interior offensive linemen in our league for many years.”
Frederick was nominated for the NFL’s Walter Payton Man of the Year award for the 2019 season. He was among 32 players — one from each team — up for the award.
“As a contributor to our community, a family man and a professional person, he has distinguished himself as an exemplary representative of this organization. And for the rest of his life, when his name is mentioned in the same sentence with the Dallas Cowboys, he will be lifting the standards of excellence and esteem that has characterized the history of our proud franchise,” Jones said.
Frederick returned to football in 2019 after sitting out in 2018 due to Guillain–Barré syndrome, a rare disorder that affects the muscles. He made his comeback during training camp and went right back to being an anchor for the offensive line. In his statement, Frederick mentioned how his diagnosis “blindsided him,” forcing him to reevaluate his priorities.
Frederick was drafted in 2013 in the first round and has played four Pro Bowls. He was named a first team All-Pro in 2016.