The Dallas Cowboys‘ offensive line is getting some much-deserved recognition, particularly the man at the center of it all.
Travis Frederick was at the center of attention in a piece published by Bleacher Report’s Mike Tanier on Tuesday. The Cowboys’ center was named among the NFL’s 10 most important players for the upcoming season, coming in at No. 5.
Frederick missed all of last season dealing with Guillain-Barre syndrome, a rare neurological disorder in which the body’s immune system mistakenly attacks part of its peripheral nervous system. According to the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, it can range from a very mild case with brief weakness to nearly devastating paralysis, leaving the person unable to breathe independently.
Frederick has been back on the field this offseason and is expected to make a return. Although as he notes, the journey back has been like riding “a very rusty bike.”
“When you get a chance to go out and do those things that you’ve been doing for such a long time, there’s such a muscle memory that’s associated with it,” Frederick told the Dallas Cowboys official site. “But then again, any time that you take time away from it, you get rusty.”
Frederick Leading the Way For Dallas Cowboys
Tanier sees Frederick as a key ingredient in the Cowboys’ success next season, working alongside his All-Pro offensive line buddies to make life easy for the offense.
“If Frederick returns to anchor the offensive line with fellow All-Pros Zack Martin and Tyron Smith, it doesn’t matter if Jason Garrett’s game plan looks like a kiddie menu or Dak Prescott is a little hesitant to pull the trigger,” Tanier wrote. “The Cowboys can just run the ball right down any opponent’s windpipe, Prescott will have time to download cellphone updates in the pocket, and a return to the 13-3 glory of 2016 is possible.”
Tanier explained that the list included players “with a whole lot riding on them—money, draft capital, expectations and pressure, etc.—who have the potential to propel their teams to the next level if they come through.” Frederick certainly fits that billing.
The offense is under the direction of first-year offensive coordinator Kellen Moore. And while he’s expressed an interest in possibly tapering running back Ezekiel Elliott’s workload just a bit, it’s likely that the Cowboys’ RB will be in the running for his third rushing title at the end of the season.
“At the end of the day, we want to get him as many touches as we can. At the same time, you got to recognize what a 16-plus game season is,” Moore told reporters. “We’ll see how it progresses (with the other RBs), but if we can get it to Zeke, we’re gonna get it to Zeke.”
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