The Cowboys are sending out conflicting messages about Travis Frederick. That should be making fans very nervous as the regular season approaches.
Earlier this week, it seemed that Travis Frederick was set to start for the Dallas Cowboys against the Carolina Panthers to open the regular season. If you listen to Jason Garrett’s recent comments on the subject, his status is very much up in the air.
The Cowboys coach revealed that his starting center is scheduled to visit at least one more spine specialist before he’s cleared to return the playing field. Frederick continues to be plagued by stingers and inflammation around his neck. The first doctor he visited advised him to rest to let his pain and irritation subside, but now it appears that Frederick isn’t satisfied with that opinion.
Obviously, this is not good news for the Cowboys. Frederick is a key part of the run game that is expected to carry the team’s offense this system. Ezekiel Elliott will need to have a massive 2018 to propel this team to the playoffs. The lack of talented wide receivers at Dak Prescott’s disposal makes it critical for Garrett’s team to move the ball on the ground.
The key for the Cowboys now is to make sure they give Frederick the time he needs to fully recover. They’d love to have him on the field against Carolina in the opener, but they cannot afford to rush the lineman back into action too quickly. The front office needs to keep perspective here. They need to be much more concerned with Frederick’s long-term health than starting the season out with a win.
Ideally, Frederick’s pain will subside quickly and he will return to practice soon. That doesn’t seem like the most likely outcome at this point. Cowboys fans should start to mentally prepare themselves for starting the year without Frederick snapping the ball. Joe Looney has suddenly become one of the team’s most important players.