Dallas Cowboys center Travis Frederick announced on Twitter on Monday that he would retire from the NFL at age 29.
After a busy week for the Dallas Cowboys in free agency in which the team placed the franchise tag on quarterback Dak Prescott, re-signed wide receiver Amari Cooper, and lost cornerback Byron Jones, an even more surprising move came on Monday.
Travis Frederick, long part of a strong Cowboys offensive line, retired. He’s 29 years old, and yet wrote in a Twitter post, “This was not an easy decision.”
In part as a result of his struggle with Guillan-Barre syndrome, Frederick wrote in the note that he has considered ending his career for some time. Frederick sat out the 2018 season to deal with the disease, but on Twitter, the star called the 2019 season “difficult.”
“Each day I faced a struggle,” Frederick wrote. “I could no longer perform at my highest level. Playing ‘well’ is not what I expect of myself and is not what my teammates deserve.”
The Cowboys averaged the fourth-most rushing yards per game in 2019, and Frederick has long been the focal point of one of the NFL’s best offensive lines. Miraculously, through six pro seasons, Frederick was called for only 10 holding penalties.
Outside of missing the 2018 season, Frederick has been healthy when he’s played. Frederick started a full 16 games in each of the six seasons of his career for the Cowboys.
Without Frederick, the Cowboys could turn to backup Joe Looney, who is under contract for $862,500 in base salary in 2020. Regardless, Dallas will be hit hard by the loss of Frederick, both in terms of what it means for its offensive line, as well as the overall versatility of the offense.
Frederick becomes the latest NFL player who dealt with injuries to retire early, joining the likes of Andrew Luck and Luke Keuchly from the past calendar year alone.