Dallas Cowboys

What has Cowboys star Travis Frederick most excited about camp after a year away?

Travis Frederick said the Cowboys are excited for training camp and aren’t distracted by Zeke Elliott’s situation

Travis Frederick said the Cowboys are excited for training camp and aren't distracted by Zeke Elliott's situation
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Travis Frederick said the Cowboys are excited for training camp and aren't distracted by Zeke Elliott's situation

Dallas Cowboys center Travis Frederick is understandably excited about opening training camp in 2019 after spending last season out of football with Guillain-Barré syndrome.

While there remains some unknown about the pads popping for the first time, the four-time Pro Bowler is admittedly more comfortable than he was at this time last year when he began experiencing the effects of the auto-immune disease and didn’t know what was going on.

A lack of strength, numbness, and weakness not only had him frustrated but it stumped the Cowboys doctors and even a renown Los Angeles specialist during their time in training camp in California before he was fully diagnosed in late August, thus ending his season before it even started.

“I think it’s just a little bit of extra excitement for me, just a little bit more comfort, too, for whatever reason,” Frederick said. “Even at this point last year I was starting to feel things, and that’s another added layer of anxiety and nervousness going into a camp. You always have that, no matter how long you play. You always have a little bit of anxiety about how things are going to work out, but for me this year, I just feel very at ease knowing I’ve been through what I have and all I have to do now is play football.”

Frederick is eager to play but he is approaching it with a renewed appreciation for every part of the game and the process, starting with the flight to California with his teammates.

He said he is taking nothing for granted after almost losing his career.

“You don’t get to realize what you have until it’s gone and you get a chance to evaluate that,” Frederick said. “And get excited about what you do have. Also, I gained a sense of peace about where I was. I am excited to take each day in and really savor the experience.”

Frederick is confident he is ready to go after all the progress he made since being diagnosed last August. He got his strength back and is moving well again.

He was limited to individual drills in OTAs and minicamp because of a shoulder and abdominal surgeries in the offseason.

“I’d say a little bit of both. I feel really good about where I am at both of those items,” Frederick said. “Obviously, I was still limited in minicamp because of the shoulder, but, again, that was mostly precautionary, so lifting and running and all the drills I’ve been doing all summer has felt good. I’ve said it for a long time: We won’t know until we put the pads on and see how it goes.”

Frederick is expected to be cleared to start training camp but a final word won’t come until he undergoes a physical on Friday.

“I haven’t talked to the trainers yet, so we’ll double check everything,” Frederick said. “But I feel really good and I’m excited to see where I am.”

And more comfortable and feeling better than a year ago.

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Clarence E. Hill Jr. has covered the Dallas Cowboys as a beat writer/columnist for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram since 1997. That includes just two playoff wins, six coaches and countless controversies from the demise of the dynasty teams of the 1990s through the rollercoaster years of the Tony Romo era until Jason Garrett’s process Cowboys.