Travis Frederick is using his platform as a member of the Dallas Cowboys to raise awareness for childhood hunger.
So it came as no surprise that Frederick served as the headliner to present a student innovator with a trip to New York at Hillcrest High School on Thursday.
The innovator, Jewell Sterling, developed a “Cart Cuisine,” a mobile breakfast cart to help students make healthy eating decisions and reduce the amount of wasted food.
“It’s really important to spread the word on how bad the issue really is,” Frederick said. “One of four kids in Dallas is hungry or food insecure, that’s really an issue when you talk about some of the things that Dallas has to offer. There’s so many generous people here and so much wealth and success here, but there’s also so much need. There’s a huge gap there.
"It’s really inspiring to me to see a student in high school starting at that age to make a difference in this world, to make a difference with this problem.”
Frederick also discussed a range of topics with reporters, ranging from new offensive line coach Paul Alexander to the draft to a golf trip the offensive line and Ezekiel Elliott took recently.
On longtime Bengals offensive line coach Paul Alexander taking over for Frank Pollack: “It’s always a unique time when you have another coach come in. Every time you have a coaching switch, whether you like it or not, or if it’s the same stuff or different stuff, there’s always going to be a different mindset from that coach or a little bit different teaching. … It just gives you more tools in your toolbox. The more that you learn from more people, the more options you have to go to during the game. In my dealings with coach Alexander so far, he’s open to letting us do the things that we need to do to be successful and just trying to add on and give his experience and help us. A lot of our line is very experienced, just refine some of our skills and add a few more things to our toolbox.”
On if the Cowboys will stick with more of a zone-blocking scheme: “I don’t know at this point because I think they [the coaches] are still in the meetings deciding that. Even this morning, I tried to talk to them and they were all in meetings. So I think you’re probably going to see a lot of the same stuff, from what I understand, it sounds like things aren’t going to drastically change. We’ve had success doing the things that we have, so I think what you really want to do is build on that.”
On if teams should copycat the Eagles trick plays used in Super Bowl: “I enjoyed watching the Super Bowl in that I thought it was a really exciting game. I think that excitement sort of comes a lot of that innovation that they’re doing there. I think that the game is continually evolving and you have to continually evolve as an offense as well. However, I’m under the school of thought where it’s important to do your core things very well. I’ve seen success when you do your core things very well in that the defense can’t stop it even when they know where it’s coming. When you do it perfectly and do it the right way, that’s how it should be. Then you throw some complements in there and you throw some innovative plays on top of that. “The trick plays? It’s great when it hits. But when it misses, all of sudden it’s second-and-10 or third-and-10 or even worse. So they’re good things to complement in there, however, it’s not something I would lean on.”
On the NFL Draft coming up: “You’re always trying to bring in fresh talent and, as morbid as it sounds, somebody is always coming for your job. So it’s the personnel department and it’s the front office’s job to bring in people who are going to compete with the current starters to either take their job or push those guys to be even better. I think it’s a really fun time of year because we get new faces in there and … I’ve never seen anybody that gets more fired up during draft time than Jason Witten. Always knowing somebody is coming in. They’re trying to replace him. He’s arguably the greatest of all time and he all of a sudden gets a fire under himself and continues to work hard. That’s something that we as teammates can look at and take and use as well.”
On the golf trip with his offensive line and Elliott: “Golf is very interesting with a group like that. I’d say we didn’t hit a lot of pars. I have to say, [left tackle Tyron Smith] looks pretty funny with a golf club in his hands. … It was fun and awesome that Zeke joined us for that. I think he’s just excited to get back into things and be a part of a group and be in that type of bonding experience.”