DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The Dallas Cowboys offensive line group received some tough news Monday, March 23rd, when center Travis Frederick announced his retirement.  Friday, March 27th, however, the Cowboys line found out one of their young cornerstone pieces, Connor Williams is making his way back from injury faster than expected.

“I’m 13 weeks out from surgery right now and it’s going well. It’s going ahead of schedule,” Williams said on SiriusXM NFL Radio. “I’m starting field work and everything and I plan to be able to play the first game of the season. That’s what we’re shooting for.”

Williams tore his ACL during the Cowboys’ Thanksgiving Day matchup against the Buffalo Bills and missed the rest of the 2019 season. Xavier Su’a-Filo, who just left the Cowboys for the Cincinnati Bengals, and Joe Looney filled in for Williams for the remainder of the year.

Williams a second-round pick for the Cowboys in 2018 has played in 24 games for Dallas, starting in 21, since joining the team. It appears he is on track to be ready for the start of the 2020 season.

After losing Frederick, the Cowboys only have 8 offensive linemen on the roster and will surely be looking for depth players during the rest of the offseason.

Williams also gave his thoughts on Travis Frederick. “Trav took it beyond the game,” Williams said. “He knew more than he needed to, and definitely at center, you have to be a smart guy. But I think Trav definitely surpassed that. Just the brightest guy. He knew all the plays. He knew all the defenses – what to see.

“He just could so easily call it out and so quickly, he always called out what was coming for us. And to be able to have that extra edge on the players just helps so much.”